Wednesday, February 6

Fifteen Sentences & I Only Fall For Professionals

All day long, all summer long, his grandpa stood out in the forest, cutting down trees and then chopping down the wood for winter. His old Italian brown skin was thick with wrinkles. In the evenings, when all was chopped & stacked, he gave me servings of olive oil and made me espressos that hit me in the gut like an axe.

The car is washed first thing in the morning. There is a dry patch underneath but puddles form all around. The sentimental winter winds do not allow the puddles to dry or drain, so the puddles stay there all day and glitter into night.

At first, he saw romance in everything, she in nothing. They lived together. He died before her.

She sat on my face and dribbled into my nose. She swayed & swayed, and when she came she steadied herself on the headboard and gasped for some time. She did not get off but instead grabbed my prick, pulled it roughly and started to sway again.

Whenever he drove her home after their shift, the old man took her the scenic route; she did not mind. ‘Look at that cute son-of-a-bitch!’ he’d say. He would always speculate on the cost or ease of construction, or tell a story about someone he knew who had lived there, or state how much they were asking for when he almost bought it.


THE WEEK BEFORE last, in absence of a life model, they wheeled out ‘Trevor’; he was a skeleton from the local primary school and Hilary informed us, with her usual downward gaze, that she was good friends with a teacher there and he hadn’t minded that we borrow his ornament for the evening. Setting up my desk, I wondered just how good a friend Hilary was with the primary school teacher. I wondered if they went on long walks together.
Now a young girl walked out of the church hall toilets, where she had undressed into an apparently stolen hotel dressing gown, to take up her place before all of us. The old women around me didn’t care, but I did, because I judged her to be of my age and sparkling with the youthful beauty that so often evaded my eyes and certainly evaded the wrinkling centre of our stage.
We started to draw her.
A fifteen minute pose.
Then a forty-five minute pose.
That would mean an hour pose would see us to the end of the weekly session.
Her back faced toward me. She held her poses with supreme stillness, not shifting an inch. A professional. The curvature of her back was very beautiful, especially as I had such awkward posture when I drew. Around the top of her spine, before the tip sunk into the thud of her skull, her vertebrae were smothered by the muscles of her shoulder blades. Within the muscles were small ripples. I drew the ripples and the spine, which disappeared then emerged to sink between her buttocks.
‘Oh dear,’ I thought to myself, trying my utmost to abstract her into lines & curves – ‘but I am in love with her.’ It was very foolish because what was she if nothing but a spectre flitting in and out of our church hall’s life drawing class.
Noticing I had forgotten my sharpener I went to the desk where Hilary laid out such equipment for the forgetful elderly and the frustrated young.
Finally I was gifted a short look at her front.
Amongst the aged I considered myself a most ungraceful pervert. Her pubic hair was shorn close, thick enough to define the folds that crescendo’d amidst her thighs. Underneath dark eyes that stared at a portion of nothing-at-all on the wall, a wide philtrum dipped into swollen syrup lips. I fingered the sharpener to waste time.
Hilary said my name and everyone looked at me – ‘I said, are you okay?’
‘Has anyone got a spare 8B?’
It was the first thing that came to mind. I’ve always kind of liked the number eight, anyway.
Many of them laughed.
The life model laughed.
I sat back down.
Her pose had not shifted an inch. She really was a professional.

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