Thursday, November 25, 2010

The clitoris is like a clematis in essence

     “So what did you talk about?” she asked.
    He slid down the mattress and nudged apart her thighs with his forehead. “This and that,” he said, slipping his fingers inside the lace of her knickers.
     “You didn’t tell her I told you about her and Ben, did you?”
     “Lips were sealed,” he said, inviting her to lift up her hips.
     “What did she say about me?”
     She complied with his request without seeming to and he tugged down her knickers and untangled them from her ankles. The warmth of the black lace in his hands, its vulnerability, brought a heightened tenderness into his hands.
     “She thinks I’m using you to get back at her,” he said.
     “And what did you say?”
     “I said you are a woman for me and she is a ghost.” He began caressing her small breasts. “The female nipple,” he said, in a television documentary voice, “is an electric blue nerve that connects to the deepest part of the womb. To be touched, caressed, kissed here lights up this nerve to its brightest intensity and generates a pleasant humming throughout the body, awakening deep slumbering sensations within. Waves begin to swirl inside her most secret places.”
     “You’re mad,” she said, through a puzzled smile.
     “Let’s now move down,” he said, feeling her pleasure spread like sunlight over the surface of her skin. “The clitoris is like a clematis in essence. Or the anther of a rose with all its petals protecting the heart of the flower. The clitoris is pink and shines and if you allow your fingers to run down and up and down and around and down and around and up it will respond by swelling and getting harder and bigger. These inner lips or folds I’m running my mouth over now are called the labia and each woman is unique and different in colour, texture and size. A little further down is the urethra which is tiny and difficult to see and that’s where urine is passed. Then there’s the vaginal opening which is surrounded by bits of pink tissue that are the vestiges of the hymen.”
     He curled his fingers inside her and they encountered the spongy texture of tissue which when touched made her gasp. He licked at her clitoris, enjoying the taste of her secretions on his tongue. He was reminded of the privacy and intimacy of rain. He felt himself sink down further into a dark resourceful embrace, a sticky coalescence.
     When they made love the bed shifted about beneath their exertions and began thumping against the wall behind which he imagined Rose sleeplessly listening. He also sensed that Grace herself was not indifferent to the effect their lovemaking might be having on her sister. She made more noise tonight. Afterwards he made Grace laugh. She was giggling for more than half an hour and he imagined Rose listening to the laughter too.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Emily Dickinson

Here is a letter she wrote to a friend who witnessed her cousin drowning in a pond -
Dear Friend,
   What a reception for you! Did she wait for your approbation? Her deferring to die until you came seemed to me so confiding - as if nothing should be presumed. It can never be real to you.

And here is a letter she wrote to someone whose house caught fire -
Dear Friend,
   I congratulate you.
   Disaster endears beyond Fortune -
                    E. Dickinson.

She was also famous for carrying on conversations with callers from behind a screen or in the next room.

   Then Space began to toll
   As all the Heavens were a Bell
   And Being but an Ear
   And I, and Silence, some strange Race
   Wrecked, solitary, here.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Emily Dickinson...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Spin the Bottle

      Two hours later the volume had risen at the long table. The waiters were perpetually arriving with new carafes of red wine. There had been more photo sessions. No one any more wanted pictures of Ivan and Sadie. It was Felix and Radek who were constantly frozen in high definition digital snapshots. After coffee, the banker type, at the opposite head of the table, stood up on his chair and began knocking a fork against his wine glass. “Hear ye, hear ye,” he bellowed. “In honour of the birthday boy we are going to play spin the bottle.”
     There were whoops and applause.
     “The rules…”  
     “Tell us the rules, Ed,” shouted Rory Pincher.
     Gavin Sterling was up on his feet, marauding around the large rustic table like a hunter stalking prey. His camera kept firing off photon explosions.
    “The rules are as follows. We take it in turns to spin the bottle. This is to be done at the centre of the table so there’s an equal chance of it pointing at everyone. Here now is my innovation - you make for your indicated victim under the table…”
      More cheers and whooping.
     “The mouth to mouth snog has to go on for a full ten seconds.  If you refuse, the forfeit is the removal of three items of your clothing and a shot of grappa.”
     “I’m only wearing three items of clothing.”
     “Tough. I’ll go first.”

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sexual Betrayal

       There is an organic imperative in women to coax sap up through stalks: it is the libation fluid they demand as their due. Being thicker-skinned women indulge the promptings of their sensual nature more lightly than men: arousing interest or desire is an end in itself. Women do not always understand male jealousy; it seems melodramatic to them. They can make a man feel small for harbouring sexual suspicions. But betrayal arrives earlier to the male - in the glimpse of a gesture which previously he thought an exclusive gift. For men betrayal is often symbolic: it takes place in the imagination.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Work in Progress (5)

    There was a sudden commotion outside, a metallic rattling and scraping on stone. The warped wooden door of the studio shuddered and jarred against the floor before suddenly flying open and thunder clapping against the wall. A groaning old-fashioned green lawn mower appeared. It was followed by an exasperated looking man in overalls whom Magnus did not recognise. The man, noticing the Madonna and the naked Jake, crossed himself with an expression of some alarm. Magnus cursed him in Italian. Lady Lydia Wentworth then stepped over the threshold. She had frosted blue powder on her eyelids.
     “I’m most appallingly sorry for bursting in unannounced, Mr Almond,” she said, with an absolute minimum of effort. “Oh dear, and I see you were busy. Jason is my nephew, Mr Almond. However, be that as it may, you have my word I shall not whisper a word of what I’ve seen to his family. I’ve never been one to take much notice of the vices of others even when they are utterly incomprehensible to me. However, I cannot say the same for this Italian labourer. In all likelihood he’s a gossip like the rest of his race.”
     Magnus, all six feet-two of him, had the frozen, tongue-tied air of a schoolboy caught in some shameful act. He was unable to express himself. He made one or two attempts but evidently thought better of either of them.
    “The reason for my frightfully rude intrusion, Mr Almond, is my lawnmower.”
     Jake, not bothering to dress himself, grinned.
    “It’s not, you see, working. And I can’t make this Italian man understand a word of English. Naturally I thought of you.”
     “Why did you think of me, Lady Wentworth?”
     “Why, because of your profession of course. You’re an odd-job man. An artisan. Isn’t it the purpose of artisans to fix things? To restore the flailing and decaying to some state resembling their original pristine condition.”
     “I’m a sculptor, not a mechanic, Lady Wentworth.”
                 “Oh dear. I’m most sorry to hear that. Well, I suppose it can’t be helped."

Sunday, November 7, 2010

That Time is Past

      "Perhaps Magnus has the right idea," shouted Felix through cupped hands.
      "Get thee to a nunnery?"
     "The only thing I seem to learn from women is how little I have grown up..."
     "Let us recollect our sensations as children," intoned Ivan, climbing with difficulty to his feet. He held in his hand a soggy wad of banknotes he had extracted from his trouser pockets. 
     "I do believe, for the first time in living memory, that you are drunker than I am."
     "There will come a time when all this will become merely a dream," said Ivan, water dripping from his clothes as he staggered back to join Felix on the beach. He rooted inside his jacket pocket and pulled out a small notebook. Listen to this," he commanded. "But first of all I need light." He held the incriminating page of the newspaper over his lighter. The flames gathered around the photo of Felix and Isabella, darted over it until the image blackened and wrinkled and finally disintegrated into a crisp pyre of glittering ashes. Meanwhile Ivan read aloud from his notebook: "Do you not remember, Shelley, when first you read the third canto of Childe Harold to me? One evening after returning from Diodati. It was in our little room at Chapuis. The lake was before us and the mighty Jura. More fire," demanded Ivan as his light source was reduced to a pile of crisp smoking cinders. Felix lit another page of the newspaper and Ivan continued to read: “That time is past, and this will also pass, when I may weep to read these words, and again moralise on the flight of time. I think of our excursions on the lake. How we saw him - Byron,” he said, glancing significantly at Felix, “ - when he came down to us, or welcomed our arrival with a good-humoured smile. How vividly does each verse of his poem recall some scene of this kind to my memory! This time soon will also be a recollection. We may see him again, and again enjoy his society; but the time will also arrive when that which is now an anticipation will be only in the memory. Death will at length come and in the last moment all will be a dream.”  Ivan finished off the wine from the bottle and got to his feet. "You do know, of course, that we shall have to fight a duel." 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Work in Progress (4)

          The woman standing up in front of the group cleared her throat and smiled, a tight hard-fought smile that begged charity. “The last sexual experience I had…”
     “Speak up, Marj! Pretend you’re talking to the moon. Bring your voice up from your bowels.”
     Marj’s smile begged some more charity. “The last sexual experience I had was with a man called Max Skinner. He came into my room and made me a present of a packet of snowdrop seeds.”
     “Louder! The moon can’t hear you.”
      “Snowdrop seeds,” she bellowed. “He said they were drops of pure energy which if I planted and tended would be my spirit allies. I let him lay his head in my lap and I stroked his hair. It was all quite innocent and yet I experienced an enormous depletion of energy. Before that I had a relationship with an ugly self-pitying man called Luigi. I merely used him in order to flatter my ego...”
     “Wasteful energy expenditure. Does everyone see the patterns here?”
     There was a low insect noise of assent.
     “So, what Marj has to do tonight, when she’s inside the box of living wood she’s made, is practice the breathing technique I taught you and inhale back into her being the energy she wasted on those experiences. Suck it back into her bloodstream by making herself into an energy magnet. Making an energy magnet of the self, I call this step in the recapitulation and recovery process.”
                 “What a load of bollocks,” Ben said under his breath.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What Women Most Want

Of course the ability of a man to coax out smiles and laughter in a woman is important, especially at the beginning of any relationship. That, according to surveys, is what women want from life. A man with a good sense of humour. They don’t want to hear your views on apocryphal scripture or string theory. However there’s a flaw here. Because if a woman likes you she will, at least in the early days of courtship, pretty much laugh and smile whatever you say. And if she doesn’t like you, you might just as well be talking about apocryphal scripture or string theory.