This story can only be found bundled with the Erotic Novella “Slippery When Oiled”
The night after I won the lottery I made a list of all the men I’d ever slept with. I’m not one of those girls who pretends she can’t remember. There’s only been a couple dozen, and I can recall every moment that my skin has been stroked, every time another human being has spent their energy pleasing me, no matter what their real intentions might have been. This is something basic that men would be wise to tattoo on their hearts—women remember. We believe that it all matters, even when we’re drinking and dancing at the clubs and acting like post-second-wave-feminist-entrepreneurial-sex-goddesses with tattoos on our breasts and condoms tucked inside our stockings. We remember. Girls want dreams to come true.
Money’s never been much in my dreams, though, so it’s ironic I would win so much. Pay off my bills, buy a new car, share with friends—then what? I have what I need, don’t have kids, my family is long gone, I live my days peering at the world through the vision of things sexual, hiding in my imagination more often than not, consumed by music and art and passion and ideas. I think of the French film Amelie and it comes to me, the need for whimsy and kindness and appreciation of some of the great lovers I’ve known.
I count them. I rate them. I am surprised to find that for every two bad lovers there is at least one great one to offset them. There are men whose passion still leaves imprints on my skin, there are men whose every word of affection was like diamonds and rubies and pearls falling from their tongues, enriching my soul with the bright colors of the morning sun. I check off the bad lovers, laughing, hoping for them that somewhere along the line they’ve learned to pay attention, learned that they need to do something in this world beside just take up space and waste the time of girls who matter.
Michael J., New York City—he’s first on the list that remains. I want to share my lotto winnings with him, and the others on the list, and I want them to know it’s because they were great lovers, but I never want them to know it’s from Emily, this girl who now lives in London and who will never forget. I ask my lawyer, Jackson—who happens to also be the man I’m currently sleeping with—how to do this, and we begin.
It’s a simple letter. We copy the MacArthur Genius Grant idea, the people who call up scientists and artists and philosophers out of the blue—surprise!—and tell them they’ve won a fortune for their good work. Only mine’s a bit more personal. We start calling it The Lucky Dick Club privately, but give it a more formal name for legal purposes.
To: Michael J.
From: THE LDC FOUNDATION
You have been selected by our committee to receive an LDC Powerballs Grant. Our selection is done in secret, and there are no strings attached to this award. The first of four checks for $25,000 is enclosed; additional checks will be issued on the first of September in the next three years, for a total of $100,000.
You are considered a pioneer in touch, a kind and passionate man in a world of sloppiness and unreturned calls. You have demonstrated particular strength and insights with women. LDC grant recipients are singled out annually by the foundation for extraordinary creativity in their desires. You have been rated as a bold, experimental lover, whose social and philosophical themes speak to the heart of modern society. You have shown a marked capacity for self-direction, and a respect and passion for the female gender that should be emulated by all mankind.
We share with you one of our committee member’s recommendations:
I remember Michael J . . . he was tall and kind and had eyes a girl could get lost in. He took the trouble to be romantic—there were strawberries and peonies and cream for tea—and he took the time to worship my body from head to toe with his kisses and his compliments. I am sure he knew prettier women; I am sure he had way more experience than me; but when I was with him I knew that I was the most sensual woman in all of New York City. He had hands that could make love to me all by themselves, hands almost like a masseuse, knowing, caressing, finding the spots that mattered, carrying me up beyond my physical sensations onto a higher plane of loving. When he would finally enter me I knew that there was only one reason that we had such beautiful bodies that fit together like two pieces of a puzzle, and it was so that he could drive me hard and long into the night until I had not a single ion of negative energy left in my soul, left only with light and enthusiasm and gratitude for existing in such a beautiful fucking world.
The LDC Foundation is proud of your performance. Do carry on.