Horizontal Lives

True Tales of the Infamous Courtesan: Persephone N. Hades and her Horizontal Life underground. How she got there, her mis-adventures and her struggle to re-surface.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Snoring and Farting

Christmas Eve. Year 2004. Around 6pm.
Sneak away for a break. Alone with my computer.
Trying to think where I was Christmas’ past.

Year 2003: Last year freezing in England & Wales with my now no-longer best friend.

Year 2002: The year before… The year before? I seem to have contracted some strain of amnesia regarding the year before.

Now it’s going to bother me. Won’t be able to let it go until it reappears in my mind’s eye.

Christmas Eve. Year 2004. 10:07 p.m.

The illusive answer returns to my brain as I’m in the rubbish room tossing out wrapping paper. Julia Roberts on the cover of a magazine lying on the bottom of the trash basket.

(It will become clear later, why, this particular vision jogged my sedate memory. Patience.)

Christmas Eve. Year 2002:

Traveled the Metro-Liner from NYC to Washington D.C. for an overnight call with a client never met before. Booked and paid in advance for Christmas Eve, including round trip transportation. Sounded nice enough on the phone. Passed my screening. Had an avid interest in fine wines and elegant dining. Sophisticated-stuffiness through the wire but had faith he would lighten up in person.

Arrive at the appointed five-star restaurant dragging behind my overnight bag. Make-up and hair still miraculously in place. (No small accomplishment on the 3 and ½ hour train journey.) Check my suitcase and coat. Black, low-cut elegant cocktail dress, high heels, stockings, no bra. Inquire with the hosting staff whether my ‘date’ has arrived.

‘Not as of yet, Madame.’
(Mademoiselle! Mademoiselle! How old do I look? Ugh.)

Take a seat at the bar. Order champagne. Cross my legs this way, then that way. Peruse the room. Notice all the other women are dressed like First Ladies on a Campaign Tour. Re-cross my legs again. While fiddling with my napkin, occurs to me I have no idea what he looks like. Forgot to ask him for a description of what he’d be wearing. Begin to tear my napkin into even stripes.

A hand falls upon my shoulder. Swivel my head around, beaming smile across my lips, to face my suitor, my client, and my soon-to-be sleeping partner.

An elegantly dressed gentleman in a double-breasted dark suit. My eyes roam upward to meet his.

Am met with one glass eye and a second working eye centered in the middle of his cheekbone.

Admit I am a teensy bit taken aback. And unsure where to look. Immediately my heart tears for him. In the few seconds before we speak, my mind travels back over his assumed life—how difficult his childhood must have been, how lonely his love life must be, the pain he endures everyday with such a deformity. Instinctually, wrap my arms around his neck, giving him a loving wet kiss on the cheek.
(The one without the eye.)

He pulls back gruffly, admonishing me with a whisper,
"Not in public. I know people here."

I obey. "Sorry. So nice to meet you, finally. Merry Christmas."

"Are you hungry?"

"Famished. This place looks lovely."

Cozy in a booth lit by one flickering candle, the conversation is easier as I don’t have to worry as much about which eye to focus on. The dark privacy masks any mistakes my gaze inadvertently makes. Inquire about his background, his birthplace, size of his family, his work, his hobbies. All questions are met with ‘yes/no’ replies as he staunchly hangs on to his sophisticated-stuffy demeanor detected previously on the phone.
Unsure how to break through.

He orders a bottle of thick, ancient, extremely expensive red wine.
Wanted to protest as red wine, as opposed to white, makes me very sloth-y and sleepy. But I dare not. Make a vow to myself not to drink too much of it.

Then the wine arrives. He launches into a monologue about the vintage.

Finally. The crack in his armor. My entrance.

Remainder of the meal centers around ‘wine talk’. His passion. Speaks of it as he would a lover.

Fascinating to me.

Seizing the opportunity, noticing vulnerability there, I summon all the bits and pieces of knowledge about wine I have ever learned or experienced. Soon we are chatting freely.
So effortlessly in fact, that I forget my ‘pretend Sophisticate performance’ and launch into a story of an adventure I had had to California’s Napa Wine Valley.

While I speak, vow or no vow, I guzzle the luscious wine.

(P.S. Me and Vows—no good. Doesn’t work. Especially when it comes to crushed grapes.)

I had gone there, to Napa, on my own, renting a bicycle to get around. Thinking I was being fastidious on my tour, I would taste a only a bit of each wine, spitting the rest back into the bucket.

Apparently, this minute disipline was not enough and surprisingly, I found myself driving extremely drunk on a two-wheeler, again and again, landing unceremoniously in a corn field, or worse, a cow patch.

During these ‘falls’ somehow, a nice man, the same man obviously on the same route as I, who was driving in a convertible Fiat, came to pull me up and out. I seemed to amuse him. On my last, hysterical dive into a ditch, the man finally took control, throwing my bike in the back of the tiny car, and informed me he was rescuing me.

We spent the rest of the day ‘wine cruising’ as the bike perched awkwardly off the back of the little car. Later we were smooshed, naked, laughing like hyenas, side-by-side into mud baths. No sex. No kissing. Just a funny adventure together. We kept in touch for years afterward.

Concluding what I thought was an amusing antidote, laughing full at my own mishaps, I sipped from the luxurious wine in front of me, (our second bottle now) then look to my client seeking his eyes.

Neither one was amused.
He obviously hated ‘wine-amateurs’. And silly, giggly women, of which I seemed to be now, in his eyes.

Immediately imprisoning my personality into a pseudo-sophisticated straight jacket, I force myself to stick to ‘the facts and only the wine facts’, the remainder of the meal.

I had hoped for warmth. I had hoped to tap into the human being that lives by the same trials and travails we all do, but dove in and hit my head on the shallow end. Oh well. Maybe when we are horizontal. It’s hard to be hard inside when you’re boxers are off and you’re hard on the outside. There is still time.

In his room, incongruent to his life, to his work, to his demeanor, are several celebrity gossip type magazines: ‘Star’. ‘People’. ‘Us’.
Make a mental note in the ‘huh?’ file in my head.

In bed, he refuses to let me tease, pamper, torture or love him. So we just have sex. A bit disappointed because I haven’t been able to penetrate, because I haven’t been able to use my talents, because it is so disconnected. I have no choice but to defer, letting any attachments to his perception of me, go.

We peck a kiss ‘goodnight’. Knowing I have fulfilled at least the basics of my obligation, I allow the red wine that has drugged my body, to pull me into slumber.

I am dreaming something. I don’t know what, but in my dream, someone is hitting me. I wake to find the cheek-eye starring at me as his stiff fingers poke rapid stones into my bicept.

Opening my lids slightly, I lift my eyebrow, asking ‘what?’

"You’re snoring." He says. Angrily. Annoyed.

"I am? Huh."

"Stop it."

"I’m sorry."

Lean over to give him an apology kiss. He recoils.

"Just stop it."

"I never knew I snored. Oh my god! How embarrassing! No one ever told me I snored before."

"Well you were."

"I think it might have been the wine. I’m not so good with Reds."

He lies back down, closing his eyes.
The glass one stays open.
A few moments later, he is breathing deeply.

I am completely awake, feeling the beginnings of a thumping in my temples. Get up to take some aspirin; (damage control). Climb back under the covers.
As I do, deep in sleep, he releases a long, airy fart.
Can’t help but giggle.

Thinking I might catch a sense of humor; thinking I might 'humanize' us, I poke at his bottom the same way he poked at my bicept.

"What?" He cheek-eye focuses on me as he startles awake.

"You farted." I giggle, leaning over, peppering him with kisses.

He pushes me away.

"No that’s good. See?" I offer. "I snore and you fart. Now we’re both people. Now we can fall in love if we want."

He stares at me. Both eyes. Then says,

"Girls aren’t supposed to snore. Or fart."

"Huh." This gives me pause. "Girls in general or Courtesans?"

"Go to sleep."

He does.

I lay awake starring at the darkness. Wanting to hate him. Tell myself I wouldn’t be so sympathetic if it wasn’t for his ‘eye thing’. But then, know that it is that very ‘eye thing’ that has made him what he is: Never been married. Never lived with a woman. Sees women only in categories. Never had to change the dirty diaper of a girl baby. Wipe up her vomit. Care for her bodily functions. How could he know? How could he empathize?

Of course I hate when men over-fantasize women. Not as much for my sake but for theirs. How can they become ‘complete men’ when they refuse to let women be human and complete? But in his case, exceptions must be bowed down to.
Drift asleep loving him none-the-less.

The morning. Packed, ready to catch my cab to the train station, I kiss and thank him for a lovely evening. Remember to apologize again for the crime of snoring. To my surprise, he kisses me back, asking for permission to call me again.

"Of course. I would be delighted to see you again. But are you sure? I might ‘snore’ again?"

He ignores my comment.

"Maybe next time," I say, "we should stick to White wine?"

"I can’t drink White wine." he answers with his nose in the air.

"Then I might snore." I say with a warning, topped with a laugh.

He puts a firm hand on my back, ushering me out to the cab. As the door to the taxi is about to close I say,

"So you forgive my snoring transgression?"

"I have no choice but to do so."

"You have no choice?"

"You’re my fantasy."

"I’m you’re fantasy? Snoring and all? Raucous sense of humor and all?" I'm a bit incredulous, of course.

He looks to the ground with his cheek-eye.

"Why? Why am I your fantasy?" I have to know.

"Because you're Julia Roberts—with tits."

"Ah-ha. Okay."

Saw him here and there throughout 2003. Discovered a bit more about his eye deformity and the boomerang effect it had on his life.
My intuition was correct.
He never stopped being gruff, or armored.
But an unspoken understanding took bloom between us.

I, on the other hand, against his protestations, refused to drink red wine with him again and as a result, upheld my duty as a Courtesan by never snoring again.

At least not in front of him.

He however, did fart.


At 12:36 AM, Blogger jayindallas said...

u seem like you like to fuck. Do you?

At 1:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha! So glad you wrote that-it is a perfect example of what this blog is about and why there it is such an uphill battle and why unfortuanately, I have to live 'underground', as it were!

At 4:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Perse,

I've wanted to cry upon reading some of your other posts, now I can laugh, THANKS

-- Staying Late at Work to Read Your Blogs (slwryb)


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