c o u n t e r  s e r v i c e

Coming of Age and Cukes

a pairing: coming of age and cukes
ashley bare


We met when I was 18, he 26. In a bar. Flannery’s Irish Pub in Dijon, France, found near the gare. Ew. Whatever you do, don’t hang out in bars near the train station. Not a cute look.


Like every Irish bar found outside of Ireland, the vaguely Celtic atmosphere somehow draws an under-seasoned constituency of foreign juvenile females – “studying” abroad – and a similarly distasteful array of sophomoric, yet employed, indigenous gentlemen suitors (a generous word choice). He and I fit into our respective categories quite well.

The night we met, he had his eye on my Norwegian bombshell friend with sexy, blonde waves perfectly framing her cherubic face. Scandinavian was his flavor-du-moment. His girlfriend of five years – yes, girlfriend of five years – resided up in her hometown, Copenhagen, unaware of Frenchie’s aberrant behavior. Or maybe she did know and chose to ignore it.

Just like I, also, chose to ignore his behavior. Oops. Somehow that night his taste migrated from the Great Nordic to the midwestern plains of America, to me. Ultimately, I found myself in competition with a mistress, as well.

A 3.5 year Oops began with an impromptu sex session in the Flannery’s toilettes. We “accidentally” met each other in an empty ladies restroom. We locked the door behind us, giggled and teased for a hot second. Our lips met just moments later, in that passion-lunge towards one another that you do. And then, you know, we fucked. I barely have memories of that night because, um, alcohol. It was hot, though. I haven’t forgotten that part. That was the first of many sexual firsts with him over the years:

  • sex in a train bathroom

  • handy in an airplane seat on a full plane… smh

  • threesome (second, third, and fourth time as well)

  • and vegetables as sex toys, of course. 

Sorry, mom and dad.


A couple years after meeting we found ourselves living together near Bastille in the 11th arrondissement in Paris. By this time I had transitioned from mistress to girlfriend in the most annoying of ways: by issuing that ever-fun ultimatum of her or me.  He chose me, for reasons beyond the sexual chemistry...I think.
That being said, I was living out my adolescent sex dreams. You know, the way you imagined it being while you lay in bed at 15 years old, unable to sleep, overtaken by your hormones, exploring your vagina, and lusting for Clancy the upperclassman in your Physics class. TMI?

Believe it or not, veggies never guest starred with Clancy.  Nope, saved that for real life. In real life, Frenchie arrived home from work one evening to find me exiting the shower, which was next to the front door, adjacent to the kitchen, which was in the living room. I wish I could describe an endless journey of sexual tension from front door to kitchen, but ‘twas a very small flat. All one room, really. Towels dropped, hands roamed, and Hey-yo! I was up on the kitchen counter with a head between my thighs. I’m never mad at this type of situation.

He’s doing his thing and I’m doing mine when his eyes widen with glee. In a moment of hesitation, he looks up at me. “Why the pause? Keep it up, bro.” He opens our half-fridge – the kind most people have for beverages only – and takes a peek around. Visions of sticky sweet popped into my head as I quickly wrack my brain for some dessert oriented sexy time. Because that’s the normal. 

Chocolate Syrup? Nope. Do they even sell that in France?

Maple Syrup? Definitely harder to buy in France. I know we don’t have it in house.

Whipped cream? Well, we’d have to whip the cream first… 

And like a man after my own, savory, crunchy truth he produces a cucumber. First perplexed, then intrigued, then wholeheartedly on board, I nod excitedly as he jumps up to the sink to give the cucumber a rinse, a wipe, and...

Turns out carrots also work in a pinch.