Posted 01 October 2005 - 09:49 AM
From the book Yellow Silk 2, International Erotic Stories & Poems, edited by Lily Pond...
Nice Girls Do It, Too
Dany Laferriere, translated bye Carrol F. Coates
At the last minute, Christina changes her mind, decided to stay home and rest. She hasn't felt well all afternoon. Of course, it may just be the beginning of a case of flu, but she doesn't want to go out in that state. There are times when she has the impression of being chilled to the bone (in a tropical country!). Since she arrived in Port-au-Prince, her greatest fear has been of catching malaria. She knows what she's going to do. She's going to fix a good toddy (rum, lemon, sugar). Then she will hop into bed with John Le Carre's latest novel. She likes his cool, refined sense of humor. That will make her evening. Harry will go to the Widmaiers' alone.
"Are you sure it doesn't bother you if I stay home, honey?"
"I'd rather you went with me, but, if you're not feeling well, honey... I'll just put in an appearance and come back as early as possible."
She knows Harry has nno intention of leaving the party before the last "interesting woman" has left - that is, any woman with protruding buttocks and full lips. Let's just say that Harry has a weakness for the young Haitian women who are always to be found at the Widmaier parties. But Christina is not jealous and Harry is no fool. He likes to come home. If he fantasizes about balck women, that's his business. In a way, it's nobody's business but his own. You have to realize that Christina is the brunette daughter of New York Jewish parents. She loves Woody Allen and her favorite writer (apart from Le Carre) is Philip Roth. So she appreciates humor and has a fairly pessimistic outlook on life. She followed Harry here, but she is herself a professor of comparative literature at the Union School. Harry is working at the American Embassy as a cultural attache. He is a slender person with a prominent forehead that makes him look vaguely like a sadistic killer. On the other hand, he has sparkling eyes and a sensuous mouth. You really can't put a label on him. As for Christina, she is somewhat uninteresting, with no lips or bottom, but bright and energetic. Men are attracted to her, curiously enough. At parties, there is always a cluster of men around her. But she distinctly prefers intellectual discussions over screwing. There's no way you can explain that to a man with an erection. So, as much as possible, she stays away from those social occasions that are simply pretexts for getting drunk and looking for sex. She has been particularly wary since a drunk pinched June's ass. June is their 17-year-old daughter, born in Manhattan. The name June doesn't really suit her. Harry named her after a character that had deeply attracted him in Henry Miller novels. That was the sort of femme fatale who had introduced Henry Miller to all aspects of hell. And of paradies. Harry's daughter has none of those traits. She is a classic beauty. A perfect oval, as they used to say. Her professors lover her. She is so gofted that she takes all her courses in French - a language that she learned only after they arrived in Port-au-Prince - and comes out with top grades. June never raises her voice. Always calm. She can always be found in her room working or listening to music. Her girlfriends have finally crossed her off their lists because they can never get her to come to their parties in Kenscoff or La Boule. With growing anxiety, Christina sometimes wonders whether right under her own eyes, her daughter is not becoming a nun. What had been just a joke between Christina and Harry is now becoming very serious - to the point that mother is now on the prowl in the interests of daughter.
"Know who I saw today, June?"
"I know you, Ma. You've been talking about him for a week so I knew you would finally manage to get a hook on him."
Christina took a quick breath.
"Is it alright if I invited him to come for a game of badminton on Saturday?"
"Mom, I have an exam on Monday."
"But, honey, you study all the time. You should get some exercise."
"We do a lot of sports at school."
"Honey, sports isn't the only thing in life," Christina blurts out with an edge in her voice. "There are boys, too, and that helps us girls keep things in balance!"
"What do you mean, Ma?"
"Just kidding, Ma. I know what you mean, but I can tell you that I haven't got any balance problems."
Christina appears to be lost in thought for a moment.
"Honey, you know that the mind isn't everything."
"Why do you say that?" June asks a bit anxiously.
"I'm saying that because I fell into that trap myself, honey," Christina answers softly.
"I don't understand, Mom."
Christina takes a deep breath this time.
"OK. Well, I missed a lot of chances with men I was interested in because I went all out on the intellect side when I was a teen."
"I still don't get it."
"Good God! Listen, honey, there are times when only the body should speak. Nothing else, just the body. You can;t do anything about it - we're made like that. It's physical, June. It's natural. We're animals too, you know! Monkeys do it. Dogs do it. Birds do it. Plants probably do it too if we just knew. June, look me in the eyes. June..., your mother does it. Even nice girls do it. Do you understand?"
"I'm not stupid, Ma. I know all that."
"June, there's a big difference between knowing something and accepting it. Or experiencing it. It hurts me to see you following the same path I took. You know I've suffered because of it, and I want to help you avoid that pain before it's too late. I don't want you to be just an intellectual. I'd like for you to have a mind, of course, but I'd like for you to have... a body too. Understand?"
They talked a bit longer and then June went right back to her room to do her homework. Christina went to take more cold showers (menopause). Afterwards, she called her best friend, Carol, a young woman who works with Harry at the embassy. Carol has already been Harry's mistress (Christina knows), but he dropped her after he began hanging around with Haitian women.
"Carol, I told her everything. All of it, even the bit about the animal. I felt like a fool! She stayed calm as usual, but I know my daughter - I'm sure I shook her up. I had to - she's 17, and good-looking as she is, nobody ever calls except to ask for help with their homework. You think that's normal? What can I do? I had to take the bull by the horns. I planted the seed and I'll wait for it to bear fruit. Of course I'm concerned; what do you think! If she were to start going out with four guys at the same time! But I'd prefer that! I can't sleep anymore. I hear the timer ticking constantly and I try to guess when the bomb will explode. She seems to be storing up fantasies, holed up in her bedroom, you know. She has to get out and get some frsh air, meet boys, have fun, cut up - you know, that's important. Life is too crazy to take seriously, Carol. I want her to let go (Christina is crying), blow up, taste the apple of love (she is sobbing now). That's all I want for my daughter. You say that it's everything I haven't had. Of course I know that you can't change your own life through somebody else's. I've got to hang up. Harry just came back and he doesn't have any idea what's going on in this house. He thinks everything is fine. The sun, tropical fruit, Haitian women with beautiful asses; he's in paradies. There aren't any problems in paradise. I'll call you again."
That conversation took place exactly one week ago. Today Christina has a touch of fever and she's planning for a restful evening with a toddy and a good detective novel to be followed by a sound sleep. At the last minute, she decided not to go to her own room, but to the guest room instead. It's an attractive room, smaller than the master bedroom, but intelligently arranged and that makes it very comfortable. Christina likes to hole up in this room, which reminds her of her undergrad days when she had a little room close to Columbia University. At that time, she was torn between solitude and freedom. Let's say she preferred to be alone rather than free. She would spend her time reading Virginia Woolf even as she hoped somebody would knock at the door. Now, she reads nothing but detective fiction and Philip Roth (a good thing he publishes a novel a year) in order to try ease the migraine that never gives her any rest. At least this room gives her the impression of still being the young woman who was free and alone in the sixties. From this small room, you can see the porch where Absalom sleeps when Harry isn't at home. Absalom is the young man recommended by the Widmaiers. he's a real pearl, as Francoise Widmaier says. He's polite, hardworking, and very bright. Christina sometimes considers taking him back to New York when Harry's tour is over. He already speaks some basic English and understands everything you say to him. Harry likes him a lot because of his ready wit. his quickness at understaning all sorts of complex situations amazes harry every day. Absalom is already preparing his bed for the night. He has a room where he keeps his things at the back courtyard, but Harry asks him to sleep on the porch when he expects to reutrn late from evening funtions or those torrid nights with some "Annaise." That way, Abslaom could react immediately to any alert. There are assassins and thieves in the streets these days. Christina smiles as she thinks that nobody knows she is here since she made a last-minute decision to stay home. She can hear June going fown to get a glass of milk in the kitchen. She listens to her daughter's footsteps climbing the newly waxed stairway. It's strange, she tells herself with a smile, you can hear every sound from this room. She never noticed that before. It's a real sound room. Through the open window, she can hear each step Absalom takes on the porch. June is listening to the Billie Holiday record her mother gave her recently when she turned seventeen. "What a serious daughter!" She thinks. A bit unfathomable, too. She has the imperturbable look of an oriental. She's a quiet flame in the midst of a storm. Christina can imagine her sitting her room listening to the record and trying to decode the searing poetry of Billie Holiday's despairing song. Absalom is also listening to music, on the little radio close to his head. Haitian music. Very sensual, gay, lively. Music to dance by. Haitian music and painting have been an agreeable surprise to Christina since she came to Port-au-Prince. It's such a contrast to the miserable life people lead here. They are hungry, but they never stop creating that joyful music and that lively, colorful art. While we Americans, who have everything, never cease whining. Real pessimists. The Haitian is the absolute opposite of the New York Jew. Today's Americans are like a fast-food restaurant of despair. They never stop producing the same depressing hamburger, day and night. Man does not live by hamburgers alone, says the Bible. Woody Allen turns out a film every year. Philip Roth, a book. Our annual ration of bitterness. Bitter America. Poor people die. The rich despair. But here, we're so far from Manhattan at first. She has Manhattan snobbery in her veins. The radical chic of the seventies - that was the greatest. City lights, random murders, yellow taxis, the wet pavement, Cuban coffee, aggressive whores. That's the fast life! before, she missed all that. Not so much now. She remembers, with an enigmatic smile, that she could do in one day everything it takes her six months to do here.
"What's time?" she wonders without even attempting an answer.
She had been so lost in her thought she paid no attention to the curious rustling on the porch.
"Non, Mademoiselle June."
"No, Mademoiselle June, I don't want to lose my job. We can't go on... If Madame hears about this, I'll get fired."
"There's nobody here," June says drily.
Christina is in a sweat already. Her daughter, June, is coming on to a man. Their servant! Christina creeps over the floor to reach the wondow. Withought making the least noise, she raises her torso. She is all nerves. Finally, she can see Absalom. He is lying on his back with June astride him. A slight breeze is rustling the leaves of the magnificent tree that completely hides the porch from the eyes of the curious neighbors.
June calmly takes off her white blouse. Beneath June's firm breasts, Absalom keeps his eyes closed. The rosy nipples are erect. Christina is getting goose bumps. With a shiver, she thinks to herself: "My daughter is in heat." Fascinated, she keeps watching. Everything seems to be happening in slow motion. Time has grown limp. Christina is really tense. There's June, her June, calmly kissing Absalom's trousers. Down to the knees. Suddenly, she grabs hold of his white-hot penis and slips it under her skirt with no formalities. June closes her eyes for an instant at the moment of contact. Her tongue emerges to wet her lips. Abruptly, she seats herself on Absalom, with all her weight. Not a whimper. Time stops. The girl's nostrils flare and contract with increased rapidity. Another instant. Then a violent orgasm seizes her. Christina watches her daughter coming with the little squeals of a mouse caught in a trap. It's endless. And just as it's over, it returns more stronly and she has another orgasm. The cry of an invisble bird on the foliahe of the mango tree. June is galloping. She comes with her mouth wide open this time. Yelling. It's impossible to say whether it's a cry of pleasure or pain. Again! Desire puts her in agony this time. Like an animal trying to bite its own tail. Unbearable desire. A strident yell. It's as if she would stop but can't break off. She is galloping. Faster and faster. She bounds higher and higher. For the fraction of a second, Christina glimpses her delicate thatch of pubic hair. Drops of sweat are breaking out on her anxious forehead. The pleasure is intense. And the girl is all seriousness. She seems to keep articulating something. A prayer? Christina is silently weeping. That life (Absalom's penis) is inserted in the middle of her daughter's womb. A few abrupt movements. She rares back with her breasts pointing skyward. Her mouth is twisted ans she is moaning. She wants to rip her skin off. Pain. Spasms. Stop. Her body begins to move. Slowly. Gently. That unbearable sensation. Suddenly, she opens her eyes like somebody just emerging from a terrible nightmare. A few more sharp groans and another scream. She completely arches her back. The veins are standing out on her neck. "She's going to hurt herself." Christina suddenly thinks. But her face shows such an openly violent and penetrating pleasure that Christina lowers her eyes. It's a private moment. "I never felt that," Christina murmurs, letting herself slump back to the floor. She sobs for a long time, until sleep overtakes her in a foetal position.
Christina abruptly awakens when she hears Harry's car come in the gate. Suddenly, she starts: Harry absolutely must not find June there. She manages to calm herself before glancing over the windowsill. Nobody is on the porch. As if nothing has transpired. She hears Harry's steps on the stairs and the passionate voice of Billie Holiday ("Strange Fruit") coming from June's room.