Identity Theft: Alzheimer's in America, Sex in Thailand, Tangles of the Mind
The Opening Five Chapters
At this point in my life, with the knowledge I have gained from often painful experience, it might seem surprising that I have finally abandoned my Catholicism and yet without reservation embrace an even more fervent belief in God than before. But the omnipotent being in whom I now place my faith is not that of either the Old or the New Testament but rather a playful, mischievous, roguish, impish, even devilish type of misanthrope, one who came more and more into focus as I began to realize that the abrupt surprises and sudden disasters and delicious ironies of what is mistakenly referred to as our lives could never be brought about merely by chance or determinism in a godless universe.
Because when one has read all the greatest philosophers and wisest thinkers and plowed one’s way through their often arcane and perversely illogical systems, a sane person will eventually realize that if we are to make any headway in comprehending our true condition, we must rely on our own experience and intuition. Not to mention common sense. And one will then come away with the inescapable belief that a being with enormous power, a wanton and whimsical sense of humor and possessing unlimited time to play painful jests and hurtful pranks simply enjoys fucking us over. Because to believe otherwise gives far too much credit to chance.
I had been brought up a devout Catholic and had been an altar boy, attended mass regularly, and seldom missed confession. My wife had been a Protestant but seldom attended church. Even after my divorce, and even as a divorcé living alone in Groton, Connecticut, I had continued to confess my sins to a Catholic priest because, if nothing else, the structured ritual offered comfort and familiarity. And St. Patrick’s priest, Father O’Kelly, was a priest of the old school who had little use for modern changes in the Church.
But that day when I left the road and drove past the perfectly-trimmed hedges and followed along the crescent-shaped driveway, and first caught sight of the imposing, two-story gothic revival house I had nothing on my mind other than the usual mundane thoughts: the novel I was writing, the backbiting of the school faculty, and the metal on metal sounds emanating from my ten-year-old Honda Accord which suggested that the brake lining was in dire need of replacement.
I had been teaching classes at a high school in Groton for nearly three years. I enjoyed it. It was a pleasant enough place to live if one didn’t mind the cold winters, and, as everyone loved to point out, the local Pfizer chemical plant churned out the “love drug” that had changed the world: Viagra.
The town still built atomic-powered submarines as it did during the Cold War but not nearly so many, and the economy of the region had never fully recovered from the hit it had taken when the Cold War ended. But thousands of men still spent their lives working “down the Boat” (Electric Boat, General Dynamics) and entertained no hopes of ever leaving Groton, Connecticut – “Home of the Nautilus, Submarine Capital of the World.”
I had been teaching in Boston but had gone through a divorce there which made me want to try a change of venue. I was interviewed for several teaching positions and, thanks to my years of experience, my complaint-free record, excellent references, and a Ph.D in Asian History, the Groton area high school representative hired me at a very attractive salary with liberal vacation benefits.
I had a small but comfortable apartment in a residential building not far from Fort Griswold, the historic fort where Americans and British had battled during the Revolutionary War while Benedict Arnold watched from a burning New London across the Thames River. The Coast Guard Academy was right across the river in New London and the Submarine Base was farther down at the other end of Groton. I particularly enjoyed sailing at one of the local yacht clubs as well as visiting Monte Cristo, the summer house of Eugene O’Neill as it was featured in his classic play, Long Day’s Journey into Night. And at night I could hear the same mournful fog horn along the foggy river that he had heard in his day.
I liked the town and especially the way in which people left me to myself and did not ask intrusive questions. My salary was more than adequate for my needs, and my superiors made no excessive demands on my time. As my ex-wife had quickly remarried I had no alimony payments to make, and the money I kept in stocks and bonds was appreciating steadily.
During the many years I had been teaching I’d had some good experiences and some not so good but now I thought I had found the perfect sinecure. If only I had known how all that would soon be changed forever by two clever and seductive teenage sisters. Or by my own weak nature. Or, as I have suggested, by whatever kind of god is cheered by its ability to bring about our downfall in as humiliating a manner as possible.
It started the previous spring when the weather had finally turned warm and sunny and the girls in the school seemed to revel in wearing as little as possible; as if making up for how they’d had to conceal their feminine curves during the cold winter.
The two sisters were the most attractive but least attentive of the thirty or so students in my Asian Studies class, most of whom were female. At 17, Barbara, known to her friends as Babs, would start conversations around her and even send and receive SMS messages on her cell phone during class. She made no pretense of paying attention to anything I was saying and seemed to think she could do as she wished.
She had piercing green eyes, well formed lips and a thick mane of sandy hair which curled down below her delicate white chin just touching her shoulders. And she favored off-the-shoulder dresses, halter tops, spaghetti straps -- any style that showed off her young and very feminine body, and especially the remarkable cleavage a girl of her age had developed. And under her dresses and tops, she wore either no bra, strapless bras or else one with a deep V neckline.
At least she favored long, flowing skirts, although by covering her legs, she seemed clever enough to know she was actually calling still more attention to her well developed breasts. Despite all that, her face and arms were freckled and on the few occasions when I saw her dress demurely she could appear younger and far more innocent than she was.
Her sister, on the other hand, was a year older than Babs, a bit taller, more developed, more sophisticated, and much into wearing short pleated skirts which ended at her knees which, when she sat, easily rose up to reveal her shapely thighs as well. Her name was Deborah and she was only too aware of the effect her curvaceous legs and heart-shaped lips and cornflower blue eyes and lovely golden tresses had on the boys in the room.
I had always had a reputation for being strict and no-nonsense when it came to teaching and on several occasions I warned Babs to stop talking and often curtly gestured to Deborah to sit up straight in her chair. They would unhurriedly obey but only after giving me a smoldering stare and knowing smile; and their obedience sometimes lasted only until the end of a class, if that. Deborah especially seemed to delight in my gesturing for her to sit up because she understood that I had not failed to notice her very feminine legs as well as the distraction they were causing to the boys around her. And, as she no doubt suspected, the disruption they were causing to her teacher’s concentration as well.
I had little doubt what their game was. I had seen it at work at other schools. Girls their ages begin to experience a certain sense of power in their feminine charms and in the magical way those charms could set male hormones raging, and yet they retained a lingering doubt about exactly what is happening to them, why they have developed such power over the opposite sex and how best to use it.
A few girls in Boston, and one in Salem, had attempted to test their burgeoning seductive endowments on me but they were brought to task quickly and in no uncertain terms. Because as my wife soon learned after we were married, I enjoyed not simply the playful spanking sessions I had given her earlier in our relationship, but I actually enjoyed dominating women. And I had no intention in starting something with a willing student, something she would then be able to hold over me as blackmail.
During my courtship of my wife, we had indulged in a few scenarios with wrist-binding, improvised gags and spanking sessions. But I was always the one in charge. Watching the smooth, white cheeks of a beautiful woman’s ass turn pinkish-red and then crimson under the lash of a brush or strap or ruler gave me an instant erection and, in the beginning, my wife thought of it as just normal marital games people play when their bedroom door is shut. And she certainly enjoyed dressing and acting as the wayward student in a Catholic girls’ school.
What she enjoyed most were the love spankings. These would begin as any other spanking: my wife draped helplessly over my lap, her pink panties down to her ankles, her flimsy cotton dress lifted up to reveal her lovely white buttocks bared for punishment. I would allow her to kiss and lick the hairbrush first and then would begin using it on her ass. But hardly had I begun when I would briefly pause to reach down and run my fingertips very lightly and very briefly along her exposed labia and clitoris. And then I would continue with the spanking. But shortly after, I would again pause to employ my fingers to stimulate her female genitalia, this time just a bit longer than before, and then continue with the spanking. And so it went: the periods of spanking gradually grew shorter while the periods of sexual stimulation grew longer. Until finally the sexual ferment took over entirely. And, of course, during this time she became hopelessly aroused and gave herself completely over to the urgent pursuit of sensual pleasure and with impassioned moans would wiggle about on my lap as a woman going mad from desire, begging for sexual release.
But as time went on, and I demanded she dress as a worthless slut who needed more elaborate bondage and even firmer discipline, she began to protest. She began to understand that each scenario had only one end: to show that I was in charge and that she was to be punished for some infraction; whatever infraction I deemed she was guilty of. Finally, when the “games” were by her definition out of control, she filed for divorce. As she was not a Catholic, the divorce was not difficult. Although she had always been a very discreet woman and filed divorce papers claiming only irreconcilable differences, I decided a change of venue might be wise before rumors began to spread.
But regardless of my sexual games and unusual preferences with women behind closed doors, I had never dared indulge any of my fantasies with students and had no intention of doing so: My teaching career meant far too much to me. And now that I was in my forties I wasn’t about to attempt to start over in another profession somewhere across the country.
And so I had warned the sisters on several occasions regarding their dress and their behavior and on one occasion had called their mother and warned her that her daughters would most likely fail this class, which in turn meant they might not be graduating with their own class in the fall.
Her response had been pure panic as she assured me her daughters’ education was extremely important to her. She quickly invited me to tutor them at her home twice a week at a very attractive fee. She promised me they would be on their best behavior there and begged me to give them this opportunity to learn in a distraction-free atmosphere. She said they were not like that at home and she blamed the problem on pressures from their peers and bad examples set by their friends.
There was not a great deal to do in Groton in the evening, and despite a few forays out into the real world as well as on the internet, I had not yet met anyone I was interested in having an extended affair with. After a few dates I would usually become bored with women who were generally lacking in what I would call spirit or vivacity, and few had any desire to experiment sexually.
And, I reminded myself, the fee the sisters’ mother had mentioned far exceeded the norm for tutoring. So I agreed to go to their house every Tuesday and Thursday for the next several months to see if that would help improve their grasp of Asian Studies.
The drive into Mystic was a pleasant one and along the way I passed many of the well maintained Revolutionary War houses and monuments. I had visited the Mystic Seaport on several occasions and enjoyed Mystic very much. I approached my destination by driving down a shady lane lined with oak and gingko trees not far from the Mystic River and in the early evening everything was peaceful and picturesque; a true postcard setting.
The house was a well maintained gothic revival style in a rather remote area of the town. I had heard their late father had done extremely well in investments but had died relatively young in some kind of accident. But it was clear that for the mother and her daughters money was not a problem. And I had no doubt that sense of financial security, along with their undeniable attractiveness, and, perhaps, lack of fatherly discipline, is what had made the two girls so spoiled.
Surrounded by beds of fragrant flowers and protected by overarching branches of the leaves of maple trees, the wooden house appeared warm and inviting. The gingerbread vergeboard along the edges of the steeply pitched roofs might have been conceived by the imaginative writer of a fairytale. But I could easily imagine how during cold, icy, winter months the high pitched gables capped with pinnacles, wall dormers, chimney pots, gable edges, towers and even the elaborate tracery would present a formidable and almost malevolent appearance. I couldn’t help wonder about the costs involved in heating and maintaining a house of that size.
I parked my Accord in the gravel driveway beside a dark green BMW and walked down a path lined with willow trees to the front door. I had hardly pushed the bell before the door was opened by a striking, middle-aged woman dressed in a conservative blue-and-grey house frock. I guessed her to be somewhere in her early forties and probably close to five feet eight inches tall. She had the same striking green eyes as her younger daughter as well as a voluptuous figure. Her light blonde hair was fairly short and pulled back into a pony tail. The woman projected the self-confidence of someone born into a Waspish old money New England family. And yet as soon as she smiled I could feel a genuine warmth and a feeling almost of reverence for a teacher.
“Please come in, Mr. Richards. I’m Julia Willeford, and I’m delighted you have agreed to teach Babs and Deborah.”
As she led me through the hallway and into a study, she lowered her voice to a conspiratorial level and confided that her children’s education had meant a great deal to their late father but how of late she couldn’t seem to control them. Perhaps it was their burgeoning youth or the spring season or the fact that she was away for periods of time, but she believed now that I was here everything would be all right.
We both had ice tea and after a bit of small talk, mainly about the value of houses in the area, the difficulty of a single mother bringing up children, and my teaching experience, she called the girls into the study.
Babs entered first, wearing a demure blouse and skirt, followed by Deborah laced up demurely in a pinafore dress. It was hard to tell from their expressions whether they had expected me or not. Her mother gestured for them to come stand by the table. They did as they were told. And then as she gave her lecture, her voice changed abruptly from one full of reason and sweetness to one filled with iron. “I have asked Mr. Richards to tutor you girls twice a week in a final hope of giving you enough education to pass your exams. Otherwise, you won’t graduate with your class and to say the least I would be mortified. And you would be as well. Mr. Richards has my full authority to teach you as he sees best and you are to obey him as you would me, whether I am home or not. Is that clear?”
They nodded. “Yes, mama.”
“I hope so. Because if Mr. Richards clearly sees the need for physical discipline that is all right as well. In fact, I encourage him to use discipline on you both if that is the only way to ensure you learn what you need to know. Is that clear?”
Both girls lowered their heads. “Yes, mama.”
Mrs. Avery went on discussing the value of an education but my mind was shocked enough to wander. She was giving me carte blanche control over her teenage daughters even to the point of disciplining them. And disciplining women was what I loved best. I had to force myself to think of other things to ensure I was suddenly not burdened with a raging erection.
“Well, then, I have some legal papers to attend to upstairs so you girls take Mr. Richards into the study and begin your lessons. I do hope we shall all be pleased with the outcome.”
Like parrots they again repeated “Yes, mama,” then turned and politely led me into the study. The room had been decorated with more than a touch of old world elegance. As I walked across the thick wall-to-wall carpeting, I looked about at a dozen or so shelves lined with both leather-bound and modern editions of the classics, nautical bric-a-brac and, on a sideboard surrounded by framed family photographs, an expensive looking antique clock inlaid with a fisherman casting his net. Wood-framed photographs of famous yacht races lined the walls as did older photographs of Yale-Harvard boat races.
Three copies of the books we would be using in Asian Studies and Asian History had been placed about a large oval, drop-leaf table with beautifully carved legs and decorative claw feet. Notebooks, pens, a pitcher of water and three glasses had also been perfectly placed. As the girls sat down, the only sound in the room was that of the ticking of the clock and the low whispering of the maple branches above the house. They placed their folded hands on the table and stared at me expectantly as if awaiting my orders. I did my best to conceal my wonder at their change of behavior. I had a feeling that beneath her pleasant exterior, their mother ruled with an iron hand and they were afraid to push her too far.
I picked up the top volume of Donald’s Short Primer to Modern Asian Cultural History and thumbed through it. I thought if I could get most of that information into them in the short period of time I would be spending with them it would be a miracle but I had to try.
“All right, girls, we left off in class on the warlord period of China. Would either of you have any comments to make on that period?”
Although they hesitated, they began speaking of how it was after the fall of the final dynasty and before the takeover of the communists. At first, they were reciting dry historical facts but I was nevertheless pleased they had retained far more than I had given them credit for. Perhaps they had been paying attention after all.
After about twenty minutes, Babs got up and poured water for all of us. As the table was quite large she walked around the table. It was then I noticed she had slipped out of her shoes. She approached me barefoot and leaned across to pour my water. I realized then that her skirt may have been demure but it was shorter than I had originally thought, or else she had made certain adjustments for my benefit. When she poured the water, her soft, sandy hair brushed against my face and I was suddenly enveloped in a wave of expensive perfume with a musk base.
I thanked her and prepared to continue. First I asked if there were any questions. Both girls had questions. It seemed they had learned from this text as well as other sources about how Chinese men used to bind the feet of their women. They wanted to know why.
I explained that tiny feet on a woman was regarded as a sign of elegance and refinement and it gave them a swaying way of walking which poets captured in their famous lines describing the “willow waist” and other charms associated with a bound foot woman.
Babs did not smirk or smile but stared directly at me: “I read on the internet that some scholars enjoyed squeezing the feet of their concubines because it gave off a smell they liked.”
“Yes, the rotting of a female foot apparently acted as an aphrodisiac on some of the men.”
Deborah lifted her well formed bare foot in her hand and stared at it. Her blue-and-white pinafore dress slid up her legs. “What is an ‘aphrodisiac’, Mr. Richards?”
“Something that excites sexual desire.”
She slowly ran her hand over her foot, caressing it and looking at it with new interest; as if she had never considered that part of her anatomy in a sexual way before. “Could the woman still have sex?”
I was intelligent enough to know that this conversation had gone well beyond normal parameters and was way over the bounds of our study but I also thought it was exactly the kind of thing that might get them interested in the subject. Sex can go a long way to keeping young, impressionable minds focused, whereas I had a feeling it was precisely their unfocused sexual urges that were imperiling their grades, not any lack of intellect.
“Yes, they could. But because the women had so little exercise, their lower limbs became flaccid. And some Chinese believed that the process of binding the feet and the way the bound foot woman was forced to walk tightened a woman’s vaginal area leading to far more pleasurable sex.”
“Is that true? Was sex better that way?”
“Well, Babs, I’m afraid all the folks who could have answered that question are dead now.”
“Mr. Richards, do you think the odor of a woman’s foot could act as an aphrodisiac on you?”
I stared at Deborah for several seconds and could feel the stirrings in my
loins. These two were definitely experts at arousal. I would have to be on my
guard if they were not to succeed in seducing me, because I had no doubt by now
that that was their plan. “I suggest we go on with the more relevant portion of
the text and leave such splendid speculations to your imaginations. How would
“Yes, Mr. Richards.”
For the rest of that hour, the girls behaved well enough, with just a few direct stares from time to time that I felt puzzling as well as, yes, provoking.
As the antique clock struck the hour and the fisherman hauled in his net, I smiled and told them that was the end of the lesson for that day. They rose and gathered their books and, as if on cue, their mother entered. She looked as elegant as before but had changed into a black and white checkerboard halter mini-dress which ended well above her knees and which clung to every curve of her body. “Well, how did the lesson go?”
“Very well. I think we covered quite a bit of ground today. If we can keep on like this I’m quite hopeful they will graduate with their class.”
“Wonderful! I cannot thank you enough.”
“Well, remember, Mrs. Willeford, I said ‘if’. I never promise more than I can deliver and I make no promises until we’re through.”
“Don’t worry, when they are with you I just know they pay proper attention, don’t you girls?”
“I’ll see you to the door, Mr. Richards.” I followed her into the hallway and she opened the door for me. “Thank you so much.” At this point she took my hand in hers and gave it a squeeze. “I am so grateful to you for helping my daughters.”
As I drove away, the only thought I had was how easily the mother and her daughters had aroused me. And I realized I had to be careful. Of them. And of my own weaknesses.
“Reality is a shared Hallucination” – Harold Bloom
“Excuse me, doctor, but I found this sword in the dissecting tray.”
“Ah, yes, we forgot the surgical saw, but fortunately we found an old Colonial-era sword in the hospital storeroom. Not quite sure how it got there but it has a fine cutting edge.”
“But can you operate on the patient safely with a sword, doctor?”
“Why would I bring it into the OR if I didn’t think I could use it properly? I took fencing in college, you know.”
“Is everyone ready?”
“I washed my hands.”
“I washed between my legs.”
“All right, then, pay attention: By the end of the next chapter Mr. Richards’s level of cognitive impairment will be severe and will almost certainly lead to hallucination, and most likely to several non-sequential distorted versions of reality.”
“But how will his mind fix on any one version, doctor?”
“He will undoubtedly decide to choose the least painful, the least confusing, and the least disturbing to his own previous fixed image of himself. We all need to feel as if our lives are sustained, coherent narratives even though-”
“Doctor, is it true that some of these hallucinations in this type of severe cranial injury are of a sexual nature?”
“Yes, that does occur, although much depends on the extent of damage to his reticular activating system and the neurons within that induce his arousal functions.”
“I’ll bet dollars to dildos Mr. Richard’s neurons have been very naughty!”
“No naughtier than yours, that’s for sure. And button up your nurse uniform. Now, are you certain all of these instruments have been sterilized?”
“What about these bone-nippers?”
“I ran them lightly between my legs right after sex with an orderly in the scrub room, so they should be OK.”
“But, doctor, if the accident hasn’t happened yet, how is it we know it will?”
“Perhaps it has happened and Mr. Richards’s unconscious is seeking to grapple with the traumatic event by distorting time.”
“But then isn’t it possible, doctor, that Mr. Richards exists only inside someone else’s non-sequential distorted version of reality?”
“As might we. But whatever the case, regardless of what version of reality we are in, we will soon have an operation to perform and, believe me, we’ll have our hands full once Mr. Richards succumbs to his baser sexual desires.”
“But, doctor, shouldn’t a man with Mr. Richards’s experience have known better than to underestimate the power of a pussy?”
“That is not for us to say. Now get down from the operating table and stop using that drainage tube as a dildo. I told you before, there is a time and place for everything.”
Over the next few weeks, the weather was beautiful and the girls dressed in class rather skimpily but no more so than their classmates. And it was never necessary for me to ask Babs to stop talking or to gesture to Deborah to sit up straight. It seemed their mother was sincerely worried about their not graduating and had instilled in her two daughters a desire to learn.
There were some school holidays which gave me ample time to work on my Thailand novel. I would sit in the window of my rented apartment and look out upon the Groton monument and upon the well preserved grounds of Fort Griswold. The house I lived in was just a few minutes walk to the spot where Colonel William Ledyard had stood after finally being forced to surrender the fort and where a British officer had asked, “Who commands this fort?” Colonel Ledyard had replied, “I did, sir, but you do now,” and, hilt first, handed the officer his sword. The officer snatched the sword and promptly ran Colonel Ledyard through. The sword was displayed in a case outside the nearby library and I often stared at it, imagining the horror of the moment.
But I was not so interested in colonial history as I was in writing my novel on Thailand and so I began rereading the first draft of my first chapter:
I first noticed her outside one of the go go bars just beside a squid seller’s cart. She was barely inside the penumbra of light shed by the bar’s neon sign but I could see her clearly standing in the center of two other girls. She had swept her hair back into a pony tail and fixed it there with a pink cord. The color of her hair was a rich jet black but, as it ended not far below her shoulders, it was a bit too short for my taste. She was petite with a slender neck and slender arms, and although not unattractive would certainly never have been described as a beauty, but something about her unaffected smile and unfettered laugh and her animated, almost coltish, way of prancing about lent her the elfin appeal of a gamine.
By this time, however, despite my best efforts, images of the two sisters often interrupted my concentration, irritating me and forcing me to attempt even greater concentration in the project at hand. It seemed even when they were not being overly flirtatious they had a way of suggesting that they were available and willing to engage in sexual encounters. For two nights in a row I had seen them in dreams and woke up feeling angry at myself. And at them. Nothing would have pleased me more than to have exercised the discipline on them their mother had suggested would be appropriate if needed.
At the house, however, the lessons went much as the first but without any undue mention of Chinese sexual practices or tastes. I was served tea or coffee or whatever I wanted and the girls and I continued to sit at the table in the study. Their mother was, as always, gracious and charming.
Julia had seemed vaguely interested when I first mentioned that I was writing a novel. Once she understood that it was set in Thailand she wanted to know more detail. By coincidence, we had both been in Bangkok the same year, she on a trip with her husband and I on a trip which I described to her as a sabbatical. I had been fascinated by the country and its culture but of course never mentioned to her my fascination with the availability of beautiful and willing women. And now that I was a free man again I had hopes of returning there for another extended sojourn in the near future.
She grew quiet for several seconds and when I asked if anything was wrong she said they had been in Thailand during the rainy season and her husband had been killed in an accident near the Pattaya Beach resort. As I mumbled something about being sorry at such a horrible tragedy, I saw her hand holding the tea cup tremble. She excused herself and left the room, no doubt to compose herself, but returned within just a few minutes, once again speaking about her daughters’ education. It seemed she still cared for her late husband a great deal and I couldn’t help but wonder if she had taken on lovers or boyfriends.
Julia (she now insisted I call her by her first name) was herself a very attractive woman and her dress was on one or two occasions almost provocative, but except for asking if it would be all right to call me by my first name – Dan – she was perfectly correct and cordial in her manner.
The event or series of events which would change my life forever occurred during the fifth lesson. If anything the day had been more beautiful than ever, puffy white clouds scudded across an azure sky already streaked with magenta and lavender. A gorgeous sunset reflected off the Mystic River and around their house brilliant flowers were tended by butterflies. It would be dark in less than an hour and I remember thinking that life was good.
As it was always Julia who opened the door, I was surprised when Babs greeted me. I was even more surprised when I saw that she was wearing a flimsy beige top tied in front, a pleated, red-and-white schoolgirl’s skirt, white over-the-knee stockings and black penny loafers. The top was far too tight for her size and it was clear that she wore nothing under it. Between the top and the skirt a large expanse of smooth flesh was visible as there was between the hem of the skirt and the top of the stockings.
Yet in her manner she was even more polite and correct than ever. “Good evening, Mr. Richards. Mom had a meeting with her financial advisor in Ledyard and won’t be back until late tonight. But she wanted us to be sure not to miss our lesson. Please come in.”
I quickly followed her through the hallway and into the study where I was in for another surprise. Deborah greeted me in exactly the same outfit except that she had chosen a robin’s egg blue top. And she had plaited her hair at either side, and added pink hair buns to make the braids stand out away from her head like those of a little girl. But, again, in expression and demeanor both girls were perfectly correct and neither attempted any seduction.
Deborah greeted me, poured tea without waiting for me to ask, and then the girls took their places as usual. As far as I could tell, nothing in the room had changed.
I began discussing the fall of China to the communists and the retreat of Chiang Kai-shek to Taiwan. I remember I was just about to ask if they could tell me anything about that period, when Bab’s pen disappeared beneath the table.
She glanced down at her lap then looked up at me. “I’m sorry, Mr. Richards, I dropped my pen. I think it rolled over by you.”
Getting the pen meant rolling my chair back and kneeling beside the table and I failed to see why she couldn’t get it herself but if it was in fact near me I saw no harm in my retrieving it for her.
“Never mind, I’ll get it.”
I pushed the chair back, and knelt down and saw that the pen was actually midway between us under the very center of the table. The table was high and I had to duck my head only slightly and crawled forward on my knees. The plush wall-to-wall carpet was as soft as it looked and I had no problem moving forward. Just as I was at the point of grasping the pen, it was at that moment that both Babs and Deborah slid their skirts up above their thighs. As they did so, they spread their legs and slid down slightly in their chairs.
There was enough light to reveal everything they wanted me to see: Beautiful and desirable schoolgirls open to my desires. I knew at this point if I was to save the situation, I should pick up the pen, say nothing, and continue with the lesson. Or I could admonish them. Or admonish them and storm out. There were at least on the surface so many choices. And yet of course there was no choice at all – the fiendish god had decided to turn malevolent. All of my senses were riveted by this wanton display of their youthful sex and I felt unable to move.
“Can you see it all right, Mr. Richards?”
It was Babs who’d asked the question. Oh, yes. As she well knew, even in the fading light, I could see it. There above the white schoolgirl socks and perfectly framed by the red-and-white schoolgirl’s skirt was what was by all societal mores, morals and ethical principles forbidden to a man of my age and particularly to one in my position – a mentor, a teacher, an instructor, an educator.
I cannot say how many seconds I passed in that absurd and degrading manner; neither moving forward nor back, simply mesmerized by the tantalizing feasts on display. Their flaxen pubic hair spreading out above their pudenda like the erect tails of proud peacocks and in perfect contrast to the pure white of their stockings. In the dim light, the buckles of their penny loafers shined slightly like pulsating stars. The only sound I could hear was the steady clicking of a ceiling fan as it whirred overhead, the ticking of the antique clock and the blood rushing into my ears.
I cannot excuse myself by saying I had no responsibility, only that I had absolutely no will to resist. I don’t even remember crawling forward, only that I found myself hopelessly lost in bestowing rapturous, inflamed kisses along Bab’s smooth thighs and brushing my lips along them until I reached her feminine offering and there I began satisfying her, pleasuring her, worshipping her with lips and tongue. I held my hands firmly against her thighs as much as to prevent her from suddenly lowering her skirt and closing off her jade gate as much as to caress her smooth white skin.
I felt her hands on my head and let her guide me, let her lead my lips and tongue as she desired: against her clitoris and then away from her clitoris until she wanted me to pleasure her there again. Along her inner thighs, along the lips of her mound of pleasure. And my tongue against the smooth softness of her pubic hair and exploring the wonderful crevice while I inhaled the most alluring and seductive of feminine scents.
I could hear her breathing deepen and her restlessness increase, and, like hers, my passion became even more frenzied, and finally she shouted out, “Yes!” and pressed her thighs firmly against my head and held me trapped in place.
At first I continued tonguing her for her excitement also excited me, but then I felt, in her sexual frenzy, the surge of power of her smooth thighs holding my head locked between her legs and within seconds the pressure increased transforming pleasure into discomfort. I reached beneath her thighs, trying to pull them apart, but she used her hands to keep my head in position while, in her sexual delirium, her thighs squeezed together with still more pressure. In my panic, it felt as if my skull was being crushed and I tried desperately to pull away but to no avail. My nostrils were full of her pungent sexual scent which ordinarily would have driven me wild but I could feel myself growing weak and as a velvety blackness enveloped me I made one last attempt to pull away. Then I felt a sudden rush of excruciating pain in the head, and almost immediately felt nothing at all.
The sounds of male and female voices drifted over to me, perhaps from outside, perhaps from inside my skull. But I had to concentrate to understand, as if they were speaking in a foreign language and the meaning of each word and its proper placement in the sentence was clear only with intense concentration. And the intoxicating feminine scent between Bab’s legs gradually transformed into the smell of an anesthetic.
“Never underestimate the power of a pussy.”
Cheech & Chong, Playboy interview
“Mr. Richards, what about Deborah?”
“There is intracranial bleeding but he might have lucid intervals as well as unconsciousness.”
“Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned.”
“Mr. Richards, do you know what day it is?”
“Acute subdural hematoma, blunt head trauma, and extreme abnormality of mental status.”
“Mr. Richards, can you count backwards from ten to one?”
“Mr. Richards, can you still get an erection?”
“Mr. Richards, can you do Deborah next? She’s waiting!”
“A massive discharge of testiculated neurons and decreased oxygen supply brought about by cunnilingus! My, my!”
“Mr. Richards, your hematomas are scattered about in your right and left frontal lobes like partridges in a pear tree. Would you like us to transfer them to your libido?”
“Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee.”
“Where did I put the scalpel?”
“I’m sorry, doctor, I think I left your scalpel in my boyfriend’s car. We were using it in an unorthodox manner.”
“All right, never mind, hand me the nipple-boners.”
“And you have a dildo-shaped hemorrhage of the right basal ganglia region big enough to choke a horse.”
“You’re a neural mesh, Mr. Richards!”
“Sorry, doctor, but we’re fresh out of nipples and boners.”
“Never mind, this sword will do just as well.”
“Mr. Richards, please do Deborah or else I’m telling mother you’re not fair!”
“And just look at your right parietal lobe! That cortical contusion is one sexy motherfucker.”
“Confusion, contusion and delusion! His mind will most likely protect itself as best it can by entering into some structured and familiar scenario which it sees as non-threatening.”
“You are in medical terms all fucked up, Mr. Richards!”
“And your left frontal lobe is compressed by bone fragments from the pressure exerted by the young lady’s thighs. We can leave them there as souvenirs of your sexual conquest if you like, Mr. Richards.”
“Mr. Richards, can you say ‘Bab’s black-backed bustier’ without thinking erotic thoughts?”
“This case will make medical history. I’ll be famous, Mr. Richards! How can I ever thank you?”
“Moma, Mr. Richards did me but he won’t do Deborah!”
“Doctor, Will he regain consciousness?”
“Ah, define consciousness and then I can tell you.”
I first noticed her outside one of the go go bars just beside a squid seller’s cart. She was barely inside the penumbra of light shed by the bar’s neon sign but I could see her clearly standing in the center of two other girls. She had swept her hair back into a pony tail and fixed it there with a pink cord. The color of her hair was a rich jet black but, as it ended not far below her shoulders, it was a bit too short for my taste. She was petite with a slender neck and slender arms, and although not unattractive could certainly never have been described as a beauty, but something about her unaffected smile and unfettered laugh and her animated, almost coltish, way of prancing about lent her the elfin appeal of a gamine.
There were bars with go go dancers on both sides of the narrow lane and opposite the one she stood near was a tattoo parlor with a huge Chinese-style neon dragon. The dragon had angry red eyes and a body which slowly changed from one shade of yellow to another: from primrose to canary to goldenrod to aureate to champagne and back to primrose. The glow of light reached the girls, and as the color changed shade, so did the lovely brown of the gamine’s skin: from sienna to ginger to butterscotch to tawny and back again. But in the twilight of a beautiful October evening, it seemed as if the change of hues was coming not from the dragon’s rays but rather from within her, emanating from some restless spirit inside her never quite still body.
The rows of flattened, grilled, dry squid with their tentacles hanging down looked like a set of stationary bells on the cart of a down-and-out carillon player. And while the vendor squeezed yet another squid through his pressing device, the girl mischievously picked up his bamboo fan and fanned his tiny charcoal stove over which her small dark squid was being grilled. The burning charcoal in the earthenware vessel glowed a deeper red. The vendor chopped her squid and handed it to her in a funnel-shaped paper along with a tiny transparent container of mixed chilies, peanuts and syrup.
I don’t believe I would have noticed her at all except that she was so lively, so active, so animated, that her enthusiasm for whatever she was doing was almost contagious. She had no sooner paid for her snack than she began snapping her fingers over the head of a bemused but playful puppy. And it pranced about under her gestures as might a puppet on strings. She had about her so much of a child’s delight that I couldn’t help but wonder if she really worked in one of the bars.
Her body was draped in the standard uniform a go go dancer wears when she leaves the bar to score some quick Thai snack: a shiny robe (in this case a shade of coral pink lined with robin’s egg blue stripes) ending just above knee-high black boots, no doubt staying within some poorly enforced Thai law by covering her bikini-clad body from passersby. But I thought she looked so young that possibly she was one of the greeters outside a bar or else she worked as a waitress inside.
I had slowed my pace to stare at her and as the puppy ran off she caught my eye and gave me a friendly, ingenuous smile which I returned. She held out her helping of squid as if inviting me to try some but I made a face, smiled again and waved that off with my hand. She and her friends laughed and walked toward the nearby bar.
I resumed my walk up to another bar where I knew a colleague in my insurance firm would be waiting. We had arranged the meeting to discuss the officious and (we were quite certain) incompetent new CEO and what if anything we could do about him. But I thought if I had a chance later that evening I might have a quick beer in the bar she entered as I had yet to venture inside that one.
How blithely we make decisions which forever change our lives.