The Erotic Dreams of Max Shimura: Episode Four – Double Dare (part one of two)

An idyllic beach in Cabo San Lucas.
An idyllic beach in Cabo San Lucas.

“Fuck me, Max.”

Max blinks. The margarita he’s drinking almost comes out of his nose.

“Wait, what? What did you say, Marie?”

“You heard me, Max. Fuck me. Right now,” Marie whispers in his ear. She reaches down and caresses his thigh suggestively.

Max is in what you might call “paradise,” which is lying on a white sandy beach in Cabo San Lucas next to a gorgeous female bodybuilder. Marie, who was born and raised in New York City, is a 47-year-old competitive bodybuilder on vacation alone down here in Mexico. Max is lucky enough to be experiencing the same pleasure, as well as the pleasure of taking two weeks off from work.

But what makes Max even luckier is running into Marie, whom he struck up a deep conversation with at a bar the previous night. Max was sitting all alone sipping his beer. She walked in and lit up the entire joint. Heaven knows why she randomly decided to sit at his table when she had hundreds of other social options available to her. She said he looked “lonely and in need of some female companionship.”

How correct she was!

As fate would have it, Marie has chosen Max to be her companion for the remainder of her vacation.

“You can’t be serious,” Max pleads.

Marie snuggles closer to him and playfully nibbles on his ear. She tickles his kneecap. He flinches. Goosebumps race up his skin from head to toe. Wearing a white g-string bikini that leaves nearly nothing to the imagination, Marie is a spectacle of divine proportions. Not too many 47-year-old women can make men ages 10 to 90 turn their heads and stare shamelessly…but she can. She has that kind of power.

Marie has the awesome muscularity of Denise Hoshor...
Marie has the awesome muscularity of Denise Hoshor…

“I’m as serious as can be. What say you?” Her hot breath against his tanning skin nearly makes his heart stop beating.

“Uh, well, look around us!” Max gazes around at the crowded beach full of hundreds of people. Mostly tourists, with the vast majority of them American citizens on vacation. They were in a very public place during this early afternoon. The blazing sun’s oppressive heat is thankfully counterbalanced by a cool Pacific Ocean breeze.

Marie also inspects her surroundings. She is well aware there are tons of people; young and old, male and female, couples, friends, family members, people from every corner of the world; of all shapes and sizes enjoying this majestic day at the beach. She knows that. She’s also very aware that everyone around them is watching them. How often do you see a scrawny Asian guy hanging out intimately with a gorgeous female bodybuilder?

“I know what’s around us. Lots and lots of people. But wouldn’t it be fun…” she begins, moving her hands closer to Max’s engorged manhood, “…to do it in front of all these people?”

Max feels his heart skip a beat the moment Marie’s strong grip reaches over his swim trunks. His arousal is clearly evident, the bulge of his erection obvious for everyone to see. Enjoying the power she has over him, Marie continues her naughty behavior by whispering into his ear:

“If we make love right here, right now…I’ll allow you to dare me to do anything later.”

“Are you suggesting we do some kind of…double dare?” Max asks. Trepidation filling his voice, he starts to notice the people around him listening in on their conversation. Their ears perked up and their heads glancing in their direction, Max and Marie have captured the attention of at least a half a dozen people.

...combined with the gorgeous good looks of Emery Miller.
…combined with the gorgeous good looks of Emery Miller.

“Yes, a double dare. I dare you to fuck me in public at this very moment, and in return I’ll let you dare me to do anything you want afterward.” A wicked smile flashes across her beautiful face. Marie’s chiseled body looks so perfect, so powerful, so sexy. Max can hardly contain himself. He knows this will attract an audience, but at this point the Voice of Reason inside his head has taken a vacation as well.

What’s the harm?

“But, we don’t have protection. I didn’t bring anything,” Max says.

She giggles. Her deep husky voice produces an equally gravelly laugh that makes the hairs on the back of Max’s head stand up at attention.

“We don’t need protection. That’ll make us even naughtier!” Marie says, uncaring if anyone is listening. Max gets the feeling she wants people to listen and watch!

“I don’t know…” Max’s voice trails off. By now ten or twelve people, mostly couples in their 20s and 30s, are watching them and waiting for what’s going to happen next. They aren’t trying to hide their interest anymore. They want to know what Max chooses to do. The couple closest to them, who are young and attractive as supermodels, are snuggling and whispering to each other fervently – perhaps plotting something similar. Other couples are just laying back and intently watching the drama unfold.

“Come on! Be a man, Max. I chose to be with you because you’re different. You’re kind, you’re quiet and you don’t seem to be a jerk. Don’t make me regret my decision to be with you.”

Her challenge is all what Max needed. He hears enough degrading remarks about his masculinity back home. It’s time to show all these people what he’s really made of!

“You asked for it. Now you’re going to receive it! Turn to your other side, Marie.”

Marie, with fire in her eyes, obeys. She turns to her other side, with Max now behind her. Marie feels wetness between her legs starting to develop. Max pulls her bikini bottom to the side and slaps her finely rounded butt. She gasps. By now everyone around them is watching unapologetically. Max realizes he has an audience and refuses to disappoint them.

A crowded beach during the day.
A crowded beach during the day.

Max tugs at his swim trunks and pulls them down, exposing his bare butt to at least eight or nine people. He doesn’t care at all. Freeing his erection, he spits on his fingers and reaches over to rub Marie’s vagina. It’s already dripping wet. Her enlarged clitoris is hot and sensitive. He knows she’s already ready for him.

“Oh, God…Max…do it! I’m ready,” Marie begs.

“Yes, ma’am.”

In one swift move, Max pushes his penis inside her from behind. A small round of applause erupts from a couple sitting on lawn chairs behind them. Marie moans. Max grunts, pushing his manhood completely inside her. She flexes her right bicep for him in response. He caresses her bicep greedily, wanting to feel every muscle fiber she’s flexing for him.

He starts to stroke his penis in and out of her, at first slowly and then a little faster. A faint moan escapes from Marie’s throat. She lowers her right arm and bends her head forward. Max leans over and kisses the back of her neck. He licks her, wanting to taste her. Her salty skin tastes as sweet as anything he’s ever tasted before. Max ignores their growing audience but can’t help but notice a bunch of camera phones quickly taking pictures of them.

“God, Max! Mmmmm….”

A groan comes out of Max as he continues to pump into her. No protection, hardly any time to get to know each other, a large audience of 20 or 30 people, gossipy whispers, camera phones snapping illicit photos, broken public decency laws, the sight of a young Asian guy making love to an older female bodybuilder – all these taboos are further turning them on. It’s fueling their desire for each other.

Marie reaches down and grabs Max’s left hand and places it across her swollen clitoris. He gets the hint and begins to lightly stroke it, adding to her pleasure. Max’s right hand cups Marie’s small left breast. Marie has refused to get plastic surgery and defiantly allowed her breasts to shrink in size as her bodybuilding career took off. He doesn’t mind her smallness.

The supermodel couple decides they want to join the fun. They are now making love. A single woman in her early 30s starts to masturbate with her fingers. She doesn’t appear to be with anyone but doesn’t let that get in her way of pleasing herself in this moment.

Max’s strokes inside Marie reaches a steady rhythm. Marie gasps as she orgasms from Max fondling her clit. She is close to coming again from his penis pounding into her. The couple sitting on lawn chairs is now making love too, with her straddling him cowgirl-style as he plays with her breasts.

What began as a simple double dare has now emerged as a full-out impromptu group orgy!

A large crowd surrounds them. But Max and Marie are on a different wave length than the rest and pay no attention to the outside world.

“I’m going to come Max! I’m going to…”

After one last powerful thrust, Max and Marie poetically climax at the same time. Marie lets out an uninhibited scream. Max moans loudly as he spills his semen into her. A raucous round of applause erupts from the masses. The supermodel couple climaxes, then the lawn chair couple follows suit. He ejaculates all over her belly as she falls backward into the sand. The single woman climaxes herself, allowing a small squirt to escape from her vagina. She collapses on her back exhausted and dripping with sweat.

A romantic beach at sunset.
A romantic beach at sunset.

The crowd continues to cheer. Marie turns around and kisses Max deeply. She tickles Max’s penis. He pinches her nipples in return.

After a while, Max and Marie return from Cloud 9 and finally notice the enormous crowd. The number of witnesses to this small orgy is striking. But not a single participant felt any ounce of guilt or embarrassment. In fact, everyone was proud they got to be a part of it.

Marie stands and pulls her bikini bottom back up. Max also stands and readjusts his swim trunks. More clapping bursts forth from the crowd. Max and Marie hold hands and “bow” to their audience like two seasoned Las Vegas magicians paying homage to their loyal fans.

Minutes later the new celebrity couple walks hand-in-hand along the beach aimlessly. Everyone has dispersed by now and gone back to minding their own business. A sense of triumph is felt by both of them.

“Did that just happen?” Max asks.

“Yes, it did. Wasn’t that beautiful?” Marie answers.

“Yes, it was.” He leans over and kisses her on the cheek. She caresses his back in return.

No one speaks for several moments. Marie decides to break the romantic silence.

“I can’t wait to hear what dare you have in store for me!” Marie chuckles.

Max thinks for a moment.

“I think I have something pretty scandalous in mind…”

The Erotic Dreams of Max Shimura: Episode One – The Nameless Woman

I image the Nameless Woman would look like Rena Mero, who played "Sable" in the WWF during the 1990s.
I image the Nameless Woman would look like Rena Mero, who played “Sable” in the WWF during the 1990s.

Max couldn’t tell if he was awake or dreaming.

Is this room real? Are these walls real? Are the sounds of waves hitting the rocky shore genuine or a part of his rich imagination?

What about the beautiful woman standing across from him? Is she real?

Max couldn’t care less.

He didn’t know the woman’s name. Claire, perhaps? Or is it Jennifer? Or Stacy? Or Miranda? Or something else entirely? Max had no idea.

“I love you,” she says to him.

“I love you, too,” Max impulsively replies, not knowing who this woman is and how she knows him. What would his girlfriend think if she saw the two of them together like this?

Wait…does he even have a girlfriend? He cannot remember.

“Come to me,” she commands.

Max stands up off the bed and slowly approaches her. Shirtless, he suddenly feels inadequate compared to this gorgeous creature. Wearing nothing but white lace panties and a bra, she looks radiant; a glowing picturesque specimen of femininity. But who is she? Where does she come from? How did they make it into this room?

Before he could ponder these questions, he found himself face-to-face with her. He stared into her deep blue eyes, lost in its poetic magnificence. Impulsively, she kisses him, a deep languorous kiss that cuts through any boundaries that may have previously separated them. She tastes like blueberries and sunshine, a combination that only makes sense to him. Max closes his eyes, trying to imagine his girlfriend’s pretty face, but comes up empty. It’s like he’s forgotten what she looks like. Or did he ever know what she looked like to begin with?

Their lips eventually came apart and Max is able once again to breathe. Her breath tickles the small hairs on his neck, making them stand up at attention. Her arms wrap around his body, clinging to him like a small child embracing her mother. Max remains frozen, paralyzed, unable to move.

“I like how you taste,” he says to her.

She smiles. Her long blonde hair bounces as she lets out a tiny giggle. Not a schoolgirl type of giggle, but the giggle of a grown woman seductively flirting with her man. This turned Max on even further, as if he needed the extra inspiration.

Suddenly, she grabs his hand and she pulls him toward the bed. They walk side-by-side and feel the heat of their bodies radiate off each other. She then pushes him onto the bed, an unexpected show of force that takes Max totally by surprise. He feels his manhood quiver at her remarkable display of authority.

The Nameless Woman looks at Max and nods her head slightly, cuing him to remove the remainder of his clothing. He obliges.

First, Max takes off his shoes and socks and tosses them across the room unceremoniously. No need to be neat and tidy, Max decides.

Second, Max unbuckles his belt and drops his pants, revealing the inevitable bulge in his underwear. She giggles again. Was she giggling because his bulge is too small? Or is she giggling because of his quick arousal? Max needed to know…

The Nameless Woman snatches the bottom of his pants and pulls them off Max’s legs. She likewise tosses them across the room, uncaring about cleanliness. Then she zeroes in on Max’s underwear and hooks her index fingers underneath the waist. Max takes a deep breath as she drags his underwear down his body. His erect manhood protrudes outward, greeting her like a hungry beast. She smiles at the sight of his arousal, but does not make a sound.

She drops his underwear to the floor and takes one step back, fully examining Max’s nude form. Does she like what she sees? Is she judging him? Is she unimpressed?

“You’re beautiful,” Max manages to say, his voice squeaky and weak.

“Thank you,” she answers.

Stillness.

After a moment, the Nameless Woman takes several steps back and strikes a pose, showing off her flawless body. Long, curvy and tanned, she is every man’s dream. An impeccable demonstration of what a woman should look like. Her angelic form perfectly complements her gorgeous face, a visage that is seamlessly symmetrical and unapologetic in its youthfulness.

She slides her panties down to the floor, revealing her womanhood. Golden locks of hair cover her most intimate parts, like a magician covers up the secrets of the trade. Her panties pools around her feet and she kicks them off to the side.

Next, she reaches in front of her chest and unclasps her bra and lets it fall to the floor. Max’s eyes could not stop staring at her bountiful breasts, so plump and nubile, unlike the flat bosom of his girlfriend (whose name is merely a long forgotten memory).

Her dark pink nipples stand at attention, ready and willing to be pleased. Max desperately wants to put his mouth around them and suck on them till the day ends. But will she let him? How far can he go with her?

The bright sunlight casts a brilliant aura around her, further validating her Goddess-like nature.

“Lie down on the bed,” she whispers.

“Okay.”

Max does what he’s told and lies down on the bed, his erection standing straight up at attention. Max’s insecurities return. She must have been with hundreds of guys, none of them Asian like himself. All of them better endowed, more handsome and much more pleasant to look at, Max thought. Max couldn’t help it. Insecurities are hard to ignore, especially in moments like this.

As if she read his thoughts, the Nameless Woman sits down on the bed next to him and leans over for another kiss. This time, she uses her tongue to explore the insides of his mouth as if she were claiming him as her own. Max didn’t mind at all. He wants to be claimed. He wants to be hers. He wants her to take charge.

Her hands explore his body, caressing and touching with such a finesse he was sure he was in Heaven. When her fingers tickle his scrotum, Max feels a sudden jolt of electricity shoot up his entire core.

“I…love you,” Max struggles say, wanting to remind her of how much he loves her. Losing his composure as her fingers greedily move their way up to his erect manhood, Max comes to the realization that he’s never felt more like a real man in his entire life. For once, a woman is giving him unbridled pleasure for the sake of pleasing him; not because he wants her to, but because she wants to.

“Shhhhhh. Quiet,” she says back, tantalizing him with her touch.

The moment her fingers wrap tightly around the shaft of his penis, Max lets out a groan and feels his vision blur. A minute contraction surges throughout his manhood, forcing a tiny drop of clear fluid to leak out the tip. The Nameless Woman catches the drip on the tip of her index finger and rubs it into Max’s sensitive head.

Max couldn’t think; he only had one thing in mind: feeling. Feeling her touch, feeling her caresses, feeling her femininity joining his masculinity.

With the erotic artfulness of a skilled lover, she starts to lightly stroke him; up and down, up and down, up and down; until Max lets out another groan, this time harder and louder than the first. Waves of pleasure explode throughout his manhood as she continues to stroke him with sensual finesse. Max has no idea when the last time he ever experienced pleasure this deep, this provocative, this enticing.

Perhaps he’s never experienced this before. Perhaps this is the first time he’s ever felt pleasure in its truest form.

The Nameless Woman stops her stroking and gives Max’s penis a hard squeeze, making his entire body jolt in reaction. Many more small drips of fluid leak out of his manhood, but he has yet to fully come.

Gripping onto his penis more firmly, she knows it wouldn’t be long before Max climaxes. She wants to give him the best orgasm he’s ever felt and intends to make this a reality. She also doesn’t mind being known as “The Nameless Woman” to him. She knows this is all an act, a charade, a game.

She knows who has the REAL power in this relationship.

The Nameless Woman releases her squeeze and Max moans in response. She gives him a second squeeze, then a third, then a fourth, then a fifth. By now Max is on another planet, perhaps a different universe. He never knew his body could produce such pleasurable sensations. He doubts he’ll ever be the same after this.

She knows he’s close. But she wants to tease him even further. She wants to see how far the rabbit hole goes…

Freeing her fingers from his penis completely, the Nameless Woman decides it’s time to change things up. She lightly brushes the tip of her fingers against his tightened scrotum and moves her way up. His penis has become impossibly hard, harder than it’s ever been before. Max’s body has never responded to a woman’s touch this way before. His little penis has probably grown to a size that even male porn stars would consider respectable. But he’s not thinking about the size of his Asian manhood right now. In fact, he’s not thinking at all. This is the power Nameless Woman has over him. She owns him, controlling him, claiming him as her property, her toy, her plaything.

Max takes in a deep breath as her fingers finally brush the sensitive tip of his penis, sliding around the rim. He’s about to blow and they both know it. She decides it’s time to finish the job.

The Nameless Woman encloses her fingers around his shaft once again and grasps it securely, as if her life depended on her hanging on to it. She caresses his shaft up and down again and increases her pace as she sees fit. Max knows it’s going to end soon and closes his eyes to soak up the entire experience. He knows he’ll never experience pleasure so transcendent again in his lifetime. He knows…

She stops stroking him and gives him one last hard squeeze.

Eureka!

“Ah!” Max moans.

She lets go and watches Max ejaculate all over the bed sheets. Normally when he climaxes, his penis releases three or four squirts of semen before simmering down, but this time Max spurts six or seven times, all more powerful and potent than he’s ever spurted before.

After his spasms finally subside, the Nameless Woman snickers as she sees a large white pool of liquid spread all over the dark blue bed sheets. Max is currently on Cloud 9 and could care less what mess he’s made. This isn’t the first time he’s stained the sheets and it won’t be the last.

Several minutes later, Nameless Woman leans over and stares into Max’s eyes. They share an intimate moment together, a spiritual form of communication that could never be replicated nor understood by anybody else.

He cannot even begin to thank her for the selfless pleasure she’s given him. Knowing she unselfishly gave him pleasure when she expected nothing in return brings tears to his eyes. The gift of her divine touch will be a debt he could never repay. But she doesn’t expect to be repaid for her gift. Knowing he’s at peace is enough for her. And this peace brings tears to her eyes as well.

Finally, they share a kiss that lasts for an eternity. Is it a literal eternity? Probably not, but neither of them care at this point. Max closes his tear-soaked eyes and concentrates on feeling her lips against his. She tastes sweet and powerfully feminine, a taste Max could never put into words.

He doesn’t remember exactly when he drifts off to sleep, but when he did the Nameless Woman disappears along with her surroundings. The sunlight stops shining. The waves stop hitting the shore. All of that goes away as quickly as it appeared. The shared experience they had together is now a distant memory that neither will ever forget. Whatever comes next is completely irrelevant at this moment, when all that matters is the beautiful fact that a woman just gave a man the greatest pleasure he’s ever known.

Max still couldn’t tell if he was awake or dreaming, but he knew one thing for sure:

He was alive.

And he was thankful for it.

The Adventures of Ryan Takahashi: Chapter Twelve – The Most Beautiful Woman in the World

I am convinced that Monifa is The Most Beautiful Woman in the World. There is no doubting my conviction in this. Granted, I haven’t met every single woman in the world, but compared to the supermodels and movie stars I see in magazines, Monifa beats them all by a mile.

A very LONG mile.

Monifa and I have been sitting at D’Angelo’s Café for nearly twenty minutes, chatting over lattes and grilled hummus sandwiches (which, I might add, are incredibly delicious!). Thankfully, Sam is nowhere to be found. It’s just the two of us, a couple of businessmen in the back, an elderly woman sipping coffee and reading the newspaper, Cathy and her assistant, Micah. Micah is a college student who’s studying art. And yes, he looks and acts like a stereotypical hipster. Whatever.

“I have to know, Ryan. If you could pursue your dream job, what would it be?” Monifa asks me.

“Hm. I would say I would love to be a professional biographer. I love reading biographies and think I would do a good job at writing one.” I’m not lying when I say this. Obviously, slaving away over smelly gym towels isn’t what I’d like to be doing for the next twenty years.

“Biographies? That’s so interesting. Is there anybody in particular you would like to write about?”

“Oh, no one really. I’m mostly fascinated with ordinary, average people who do extraordinary things with their lives.” I stirred a half package of sugar into my latte. I hope my waistline doesn’t object to this!

“So you have no interest in celebrities?”

“Or politicians, for that matter. I think they’re over-exposed as it is.”

I see Cathy eyeing us from her corner in the café. She’s fixing a sandwich at the moment, of which variety I cannot tell. She must be thinking how unusual it is for me to come in here with a beautiful black woman. The two of us do make an odd couple.

“I love adventure stories. You should write one of those.” Monifa’s posture is upright and proper. I don’t think she ever slouches in real life.

“What kind of adventure stories? I’m not really interested in writing any of those kinds of books, but I suppose I shouldn’t knock it unless I’ve tried it.”

Monifa smiles. Her face is so beautiful I want to take a picture of her and frame it on my wall. Her beauty transcends any feelings of lust or sexual attraction. Her beauty is like staring at a divinely perfect piece of art. If Cindi’s body is art, Monifa’s face is also art (but don’t get me wrong; her body is also VERY fine. But it’s obviously not as muscular or unusual as Miss North’s epic physique). I wonder how she can still be single. How can any heterosexual man resist this incredible woman?

“I like adventure stories involving most anything. The high seas, deadly volcanoes, mysterious islands, intergalactic planets, tropical excursions, pirate ships, anything. I guess this is what happens when your real life is so boring.”

“Boring? How could your life be boring? You’re a conceptual artist. Aren’t they the most inventive and wackiest of all people?”

Monifa lets out a quiet laugh. “I told you, conceptual art is my hobby. By day I’m a software tester. I wish I had more time to pursue art, but that’s what happens when you work too many hours in a cubicle.”

“Nonsense. I don’t consider what you do for a living to be your life. I think what you love to do to should define your life. Just look at me, for example. I work at a dead-end job cleaning mirrors, windows, dirty towels and locker room floors. That’s not even close to what I consider to be my life. It’s just what pays the bills.”

“I guess you’re right. I should find more time for my art.”

“If you don’t mind me asking, what type of conceptual art do you do? I have little to no knowledge about this sort of thing.”

“Essentially, I like to fuse all sorts of art into a cohesive whole to tell a larger story. In Ethiopia, I briefly worked as an actress when I was a young girl. Then I started to do modeling. Then I got into photography. When I moved to America I took classes in filmmaking and drawing. Everything fascinates me. I feel like I’m great at taking big ideas and making them simple to understand.”

“Taking big ideas and making them simple to understand? That’s almost what a historian does. Except they work in recording human activity, not creating art.”

“They can almost be considered the same thing,” Monifa says.

Wow. That’s…kind of deep. Monifa takes a last sip of her coffee and places the cup on the table. Does she want a refill? Or does she want something else to eat? I told her when we first got here that I’d pay because she’s new and I wanted to welcome her to the neighborhood. I also pointed out to her that I’ll probably be the only neighbor that she’ll know in our building. The people who live there aren’t terribly open to meeting those who live no more than twenty feet away from them.

Almost on cue, Cathy walks over to our table.

“Hello you two. Can I get you anything else?” Cathy takes a long look at Monifa. I think she would agree with me that her beauty is almost beyond compare.

“No thank you,” Monifa says sweetly. I nod my head in agreement.

“Alright. Holler if you need anything. You know where I am.” With that, Cathy walks away and winks at me when she’s out of Monifa’s line of sight. Does she think we’re on a date? Who goes on a date on a Monday afternoon?

There is a long pause. Oh great. What should I say next?

“If you had unlimited resources and unlimited time, what type of…art project would you want to create?” Ah ha! I just asked an art question that allows her to express herself. When it comes to attracting intelligent women, I hope I’m on to something.

Monifa pauses to think and finally speaks: “I would love to create a series of tableaus. Do you know what that is?”

“Uh, sort of. It has something to do with pictures, right?”

“Yes, it has a lot to do with photography, but the type of tableaus I’m interested in created involve real people in real situations. I’d love, for example, to create a series of still images of people, all types of people, young and old, every body type, every shape, color and ethnicity, relating to each other in the real world.”

This is my chance to shine. I’ve read about artists doing these sorts of projects. If I can impress her with this, who knows how far I can go with her?

“You’re referring to a ‘tableau vivant.’” I smile as these words leave my mouth.

“Yes! A “tableau vivant!” You’ve heard the term before.” Monifa looks impressed with my knowledge of art. Score for me!

“I have heard the term before. They’re living pictures. So, you’d like to create living pictures of all sorts of people doing what they do in real life.”

“Not just real life; but in a surreal, enhanced version of life. Picture this: A large group of skinny, beautiful women surrounding a larger, overweight woman in a circle and pointing fingers at her, while the woman in the middle crouches over and weeps. Or a group of racially-homogeneous schoolchildren turning their backs to a mixed-race    child–”

“Or an interracial couple,” I blurt out. I hope my interruption doesn’t bother her.

“Yes, that would also be powerful, especially if the schoolchildren were in their teens.”

“What’s stopping you from pursuing this sort of project? I realize you said time is always a factor, but isn’t that just an excuse we use? I tend to think we use the “time” excuse because we’re afraid of what actually doing this project could lead to.”

“What do you mean?” Monifa finishes her sandwich and turns her attention completely upon me. Her dazzling black eyes pierce through me like an Olympic archer’s arrow.

“Well, I think we’re afraid of pursuing our dreams because we’re afraid we might fail, which wouldn’t just shatter you accomplishing our dreams, but your desire to dream of anything again. If our dreams remain fantasy, we can always take comfort in knowing that we’ll never fail.”

“But how do you know you’ll fail if you never try it? If you keep on wishing for things, they’ll never happen unless you take action.”

This is where I can definitely go in for the intellectual kill.

“Maybe this is why you should pursue your dreams instead of just talking about it.”

Silence. DEAD SILENCE. DEAD, DEAFENING SILENCE.

Just what I thought would happen. Dead, deafening silence. Monifa’s gorgeous face wrinkles as she thinks hard about what I just said. I genuinely hope she gets out of her artistic funk and pursues her photography, or whatever art she likes to do. It’s a damn shame when young people talk about wanting to do something but never even try to do it. Rationalizing your behavior can be the ultimate form of suicide.

Gee, I should write a book about this.

“You know what, Ryan? You’re right. You’re absolutely right, one hundred percent right. I should pursue my art. Of course, in small chunks. I can’t do everything overnight, you would agree?” I see that Cathy has returned to the back kitchen. I think she’s conceded that we’re not going to order anything else today.

“Of course, I completely agree. Start out small. Right now, you’re doing nothing. So doing something would definitely be an improvement. Start with something modest. How about creating two or three person tableaus? I’m sure we can totally find volunteers who’d be willing to pose for a few shots. Seattle is full of artsy-types who would do anything do get into the “art scene.’”

Monifa grins. “I’ll think about this. I’m confident I can get something off the ground. But I just moved here, so I–”

“Ah, ah, ah! There’s that thing about making excuses. Do you have a camera?”

“Yes.”

“Great. Is it unpacked?”

“No, but it’s not hard to find.”

“Great. Think about some ideas, and feel free to knock on my door any time to run them by me. My ear is always open to new ideas.” Holy shit, did I just give her an open invitation to come over to my apartment whenever she likes? I’m really getting bold.

“I would like that. I like you, Ryan. I’m glad we’re neighbors.”

“I’m glad, too.”

There is another period of silence, but this time it’s way more awkward. I think it is time for us to depart from here and go our separate ways.

“Pablo should be done with your unit by now.”

“Yes, he should be. I’ll pay for us.”

“No, no, no! Your money is no good here, at least not today. I’ll cover this, my treat.”

“Thanks! You’re very sweet.” Monifa leans over and kisses me on the cheek. I feel my entire body melt at the sensation of her soft lips covering my face. Is it possible to get a heart attack just by being kissed by a beautiful woman?

We get up, push our chairs in and I walk over to the counter. Cathy has since returned, reading a trashy fashion magazine.

“I’m paying for the both of us.”

“Who’s the girl, Ryan? She’s quite a looker,” Cathy whispers to me as I hand her my debit card. She swipes it and returns it to me. I put it back in my wallet.

“New neighbor. Next door. Sweet thing. I’m looking forward to getting to know her better.”

“Holy fucking shit. She’s gorgeous, honey. You better act fast or else someone else will, trust me.” Cathy’s advice is always straight and to-the-point. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that.

“I trust you, Cathy. I trust you. I’ll see you later.”

“Bye,” Cathy says to me. “Bye!” she yells to Monifa as we head out the door.

“Good bye, Cathy. It was nice to meet you. You have a lovely establishment. I’ll be returning here often,” Monifa declares as we leave.

We stroll back to the apartment building across the street. Sure enough, Pablo is finished with his work. Monifa and I shake hands as we retreat to our respected units, separated by nothing but a thin, sound-proof wall. I close the door and collapse onto the couch.

“Wow, what a day. What a way to spend my Monday,” I tell myself.

Imagine this: I’m now next-door neighbors with The Most Beautiful Woman in the World and this Saturday I’ll be losing my virginity to The Most Muscular Woman in the World.

Not bad, Ryan Takahashi, not bad at all. Looks like I’m finally starting to move up in the world.

It’s about time!