Tuesday, April 5

A Play In At Least Three Acts

AN OLD, UNSCRUBBED cupboard made of reconstituted wood sheeted in white plastic is opened and the contents greeted with disgust. A stack of plates, six, is topped in a neon pink heart-shaped post-it note saying—‘Jane’s x’.
My mum—‘What the fuck is that?’
Jane and I fought like a cat and dog up and down the communal corridor of our university accommodation. Her pompous behaviour was more than I could bear. One drunken night I even drew a knife on her and she cackled in my face. I wilted; I could not take the knife to her; it was a silly business. Endlessly we fought. One day in December she bought a vibrator and showed it to me. I put it in my mouth in front of everybody and she did not stop me; of course we liked each other. Later that night she would use it and my dried spit would be thrust into her and we would come in unison, eight rooms apart.
It was sixteen months later and a light blue light from the television set broke across us in her mice-infested house. She asked me to clear the dead mice from their traps, where they posed as abstract sculptures. I declined, lay on her bed with my hands behind my head, looking at the ceiling and, ah, all the aroma of her sweetness upon me! Jane was shaped like a period of Mediterranean history; special to behold; small breasts and a tiny waist that swum out into vast hips. I was especially fond of her hips, those hips that taught me to love hips. They stretched for miles, a wide expanse of white, the dimple navel pricked into a mound of softness, and a bald, fleshy sex framed pristinely in the middle. When we went to nightclubs I would watch her dance and she would watch me watching her dance; the bold hips swinging here & there. She taught me to appreciate hips.
At night she would lie naked on my bed, her white hips picked out of the darkness by the moonlight through the open curtains. We did not sleep, we talked, two young lovers with bastard misery caught between our teeth. Through those days I was in a terrible state, depressed and alone, always drunk or high in my room, but she cut through it and came to lie on my bed. It was with her that for a moment I laughed and for a minute I talked and for an hour I listened and for a night I came to know her better and more deeply, this instruction-manual-shaped beauty with wonderful hips. The character I had hated in a lustful anger became a thorough human being, a delicious complication of kindness, insecurity and delight on my bed where the sheets dried slowly. Some things she told me caused her to cry and I opened the window so that her tears could cool and I tried to make her laugh and she laughed. I put my hands on her hips and told her all sorts and she smiled at me (a secret smile, saved for special occasions, like bar mitzvahs and graduation ceremonies). I did not feel so alone. With my head on her hips I could smell her sex calming down. She had such wonderful hips. She is a stranger out there in the world, now. She helped me when she did not know she was helping me – filling me with hope and friendship and all those silly things at the time when I needed it most. She is a stranger out there in the world, now, for ten years, and unknown.
But all that is unimportant when I think of how wonderful her hips were.


TONIGHT I SIT HERE with music playing, music introduced to me a decade ago by a girl named Valerie. In this nostalgic hour I dream of Valerie’s breasts. I knew her for two years before we finally met. Often we would discuss music late into the night. She would send me songs and I would listen and love and request more and she would satisfy me—‘Hmm, if you liked that I reckon you’ll like this’ and so forth. One band she introduced me to—‘He’s playing in Kilburn in October.’ I went to Kilburn in October and was pleased to meet her. She had a good smile, a dirty laugh. At first I did not notice her breasts because they were tightly concealed against the early cold behind a thick coat and woolen scarf. She had a boyfriend at the time, a model sought after for his bizarre looks and outstanding cheekbones. By Christmas she did not have a boyfriend, so she asked me if I had a condom.
Until then I had been interested in slender women, androgynous women without breasts. ‘Big breasts are clumsy,’ I told people on the street and they believed me, thinking I knew what I was talking about. All day I wandered up and down Bishopsgate telling people how clumsy big breasts were. Then I met Valerie and her breasts. On Valerie, big breasts were most beautiful to behold. I caressed them in their wire frame and after their gentle release. I clutched them after a day’s work when I was half-dead, lifting the whole weight of them into my mouth. As she rode me, they swung down and I suckled. My penis disappeared between them; a disappearing act certainly! At my climax, as she ordered me up and between her lips; I shivered and held a handful of her thick hair and a handful of her voluptuous bosom.
During the quieter moments in her ground floor flat, as we slouched and told dirty jokes to each other, she would play me music. It was music I had not heard before and, as such, it made quite an impression on me. It touched me profoundly and I asked her for more. There is vodka in the apple juice and its scent fills the room. The music fills up the room, too, casting light where there were shadows and filtering out of the window between thin lines of tobacco smoke. She laughed a lot – which heaved her chest – and we lay there listening to the music that, although familiar to her, was a stranger to me. At weekends she would take me record shopping in the capital, not far from where she lived. All of these small shops down the side streets, peeling paint and perched behind puddles. Keenly she picked out album after album. I followed in a daze, smiling. I took them home and listened, thinking of her when I got to the song she had played me the night previous. Everything became illuminated underneath those songs. After we broke apart, she would still invite me to see bands with her, still that good smile and dirty laugh, and her big breasts concealed. I stood beside her, washed in the sonic magnificence of the band. She was a vessel after all, a conduit of happiness into my life, blessing me like a passing saint with a world of sound that had evaded me until then, and sounds that saved my state of mind over and over.
But all that pales in significance when I think of how lovely her big breasts were.


I HEARD A POP song once upon a time that was about love. At least I think it was about love because it was a Minnesota man singing about a girl from the North Country and he sounded, right then, like nothing could fix him. Indeed it gripped me and made me fantasise about being in love. At times I came to imagine love so vividly that I thought I was in it, that I was in love and that it was a rite of passage to somewhere heretofore undiscovered. I was not thinking about love when I met Lucille again for the first time in three years. I thought of many things when I met her again, but I did not think of love or the Midwest. The bar was tacky, everything sticking with the residue of spilled booze, and the stench in the air to twitch one’s nostrils in midday Manchester. When she got up to use the toilets – to break the seal – I watched her bottom wiggle away from me in black trousers made out of a thin fabric I was unfamiliar with. It was an astounding bottom. Manchester was a good city to us. The city forgave us our trespasses and flowered in glowing lights and damp, grey, fourth-of-December fragrances. She came back to mine on the two-hour train with her head on my shoulder.
To me, Lucille looked like the devil, the sort to wander into the desert on Jesus’ second day and tempt him out the kingdom of heaven. She was so beautiful I could not believe it. Maybe you have your own Lucille. That evening, during our long first night together, I came on her bottom. It seemed like the most scientific pursuit of mankind. The come rolled off her cheeks, down the crack and mined diamonds in the pubic hair around her cunt. There is a photograph of the occasion stashed in a museum somewhere. Her bottom was my favourite part of her. She had all of my favourite parts of anyone ever on her, but her bottom was spectacular in particular. Twenty-six years of flowing faeces did not deter my tongue. I was in love with her bottom.
I suppose, although it is quite irrelevant, that I was in love with her. Not at first was I in love, but I came to be in love. Love is not a place; but a journey, full of interesting things and bandits on horseback alongside the train and sunsets happening, each more breathtaking than the last, and the delightful feeling of movement and excitement, of something unbeatable.
Quite snugly I fitted into her buttocks when we spooned. Quite firmly I held on to her buttocks when we made love. Her bottom is important, I think, but making love is not all that important; it is the punctuation marks in a story of the absolute bliss someone else inspires in you and someone for whom you care for more than yourself. Making love is the exclamation mark.
All the darkness of life – the loneliness, despair, the sadness – was swept away in the trail she traced in her delicate feet. It was a careless and accidental trait of hers, to make me feel as though life was something I could get used to. She also enjoyed me singing to her when she was in the bath. That is how you spell ‘happiness.’
She made me a CD of some songs that reminded her of me—‘Here is a CD of songs that remind me of you.’ Every day I listened to that CD on my journey to work, trying to understand one thing or another. She left at quarter-past-six every morning and so by the time I went to work at eight o’clock I missed her terribly, so I would listen to the CD and pick apart the lyrics, thinking of her all the way.
With Lucille I felt a certain purpose, as though I had been a word floating around until she caught me, placed me in a dictionary and gave me a definition. There has been no other like her, nor one who has done so much for me. There has been no other for whom I would gladly die to save.
But all that is of little consequence when I think of how delicious her bottom was.

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