Excerpt: ‘How I Enveloped You: An Incomplete Suite’, by Wendy C. Ortiz


Photo by Amy. Image reproduced under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License.


After watching me play Grand Prix over and over, quarters, tokens in hand, your fingers found my nipples. Your long swimmer’s arm reached around and in this place for children without shame or secrecy you rubbed the nub of one nipple between your thumb and pointer through my white t-shirt, my thin lace bra. It had only been a year since I completely understood what happened when fingers or mouths found that place. I hummed and pushed your hand away and tried to keep my eyes on the road but your hands kept finding me.

I was slightly enchanted because you weren’t from my school and you were a swimmer and it was clear you were a swimmer and you had no problem letting me know how much you wanted to fuck me. You wanted to fuck me everywhere outside with the threat of being caught. This, too, became a new and lasting desire of mine. First in a field near my house on the hood of your VW bug. Next at an elementary school. Your friend came with us to the school. He was going to hang out nearby while we fucked on the lunch tables. I was young and silly and always liked to make as much noise as the fucking called for. I cried out, looked over your shoulder as you lowered yourself onto me, your wolf teeth, short hair, chiseled hairless body plunging, and I saw your friend watching us and I focused on your shoulders and the muscles moving underneath them.

The last time I saw you, I also saw your friend. You came over to my house and I knew this would turn into something. We fucked on my bed in a way that was an early easy preference. Both of us on our knees, you fitting into me, a perfect jigsaw puzzle piece. My bedroom door opened. Your friend. I made all the motions of asking then telling him to leave and you never removed yourself from me but held me closer, rocked against me, cooing at me that he could join us, he could join us.

Not like this. I wasn’t into your friend. It was one of the many times I said no and no and no and even though your cock stayed in my cunt, I sent your friend away with my refusals.

You both gave me shit afterward in my mother’s living room. I smoked a cigarette in the dark womb of it. Let you out, locked the door. Sore.


You were my revenge fuck. I was not interested in you—or I was, only because you were nice to me, made me laugh, thought I was funny, and I knew from the moment we were introduced that you wanted to fuck me almost as much as your friend the teacher did. So on a day when he wasn’t around you talked me into it. Back then my heart was open, my “boundaries” really these shimmery gossamer things that kept disappearing in darkness where no light could shine on them. I was game. We played. You bent me over on the couch where I usually sat and smoked pot with your friend. I have no real memory of it but for looking down at my feet, my scabbed knees. The next time I was on my first acid trip and I called your friend but you answered the phone. I was chewing on tin foil. I needed a place to go, a babysitter. You drove across town in your truck to pick up a blazing fifteen-year-old and I waited outside, shifting foot to foot, the leaves on the trees breathing. You took me on a long ride all over the valley and I hummed against the radio and touched the fabric on the roof of the truck and knew I wanted to give you something. We talked about blow jobs and I knew it would be useful, beautiful, and far out with your cock in my mouth. And because you were my revenge fuck. And I knew I would tell your friend all about it later, and I did.

This piece appears in full in The Lifted Brow #31. Get your copy here or read it online here.

Wendy C. Ortiz is the author of Excavation: A Memoir (Future Tense Books, 2014), Hollywood Notebook (Writ Large Press, 2015) and the forthcoming Bruja (CCM, 2016). Her work has been profiled or featured in the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Review of Books, The Rumpus, and the National Book Critics Circle Small Press Spotlight blog. Her writing has appeared in such places as The New York Times, Hazlitt, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, The Nervous Breakdown, and a year-long series appeared at McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. Wendy lives in Los Angeles.