At the ShackbyMoondrift©
I had rung home and got mother on the line. The purpose of my call was to ask if I could use the family seaside shack for a couple of weeks.
She said "Of course, but you'll be on your own."
I told her it would be fine and I just needed a bit of time to myself. Of course I couldn't fool mother, I never could. She knew there was something more to it than simply wanting a bit of time to myself, but as always she didn't probe. I remember she once said that if I ever need to talk she was there, but she'd never be pushy.
For the last two years she hadn't "been there" because I had left home to take up a job interstate. Since then I'd hardly visited home, and my main contact had been via an occasional telephone call.
If that doesn't sound like the behaviour of a devoted son then let me correct that and say it was behaviour of a too devoted son.
That aside, I was going through a very bad patch. There was this girl, Wendy, I'd been having a relationship with. I suppose I took it more seriously than she did, and I'd actually thought that we might get married.
After my suggestion of marriage things began to change and went on changing until she told me she had met another guy and was going to stay with him. That shook me and I'd been going through of all the symptoms of a rejected lover, and since I had some annual leave owing I decided to get away from the place that constantly reminded me of my lost love.
The trouble with those sorts of things is that you might be able to leave the place behind, but you can't leave yourself behind. That's what I'd discovered once before, and as I settled into the shack I felt as miserable and bereft as when I was in the Wendy-less flat.
Of course I swore there would never be another woman in my life, but I'd sworn that once before. I suppose that's the sort of thing you do when you're in your early twenties, depressed and lovelorn.
If I'd still been living in Adelaide in the family home it would have taken me less than four hours to get to the shack, but coming from an eastern state it had taken me over eight hours.
I suppose I'd fled there as a sort of refuge. My parents had bought the place before I was born and we'd used it for long weekends and more extended holiday periods. It was full of happy childhood and teenage memories – memories of swimming, boating, fishing, surfing and long walks in the bush.
I'd even been planning to take Wendy there before she split, and that thought did nothing to brighten the place up once I got there.
It was an old fisherman's cottage and very isolated and it was not the holiday season, so even the few people who came there at holiday time were absent.
For the first couple of days I did little more than wander despondently round the adjacent bush feeling sorry for myself. The weather was fine and I could have gone swimming or fishing, or even used the boat that was stored in a large shed beside the cottage, but I hadn't the heart for it.
I was beginning to think I might just as well have stayed back in the city and the flat for all the good the shack was doing me. I was lonely, and I might just as well have been lonely where I'd come from, and at least there were people there. I'd made a lousy decision.
Yes, there were people back in the city, but somewhere among those people there was Wendy and her new lover. I tortured my self with visions of him sucking her nipples, licking her genitals, she fondling his penis and finally his sperm being shot into her; these images haunted me.
By the third day I'd just about resolved to pack up and go back where I'd come from when something happened that turned the whole situation around.
I was just returning from yet another cheerless ramble and I was approaching the shack. From the road there is a sandy track about a hundred metres long. When the place has been unoccupied for a while the sand drifts and any wheel tracks on it are obliterated. The only tracks that had been there up to that point were those of my car, but now there was clearly another set of wheel marks.
I wondered who the hell it was. It had been known for vacant shacks to be looted, so I hurried down the track to find out what was going on.
There was a dark green car standing beside the cottage that I didn't recognise. I approached cautiously and entered by the back door. This led straight into the kitchen, and there stood mother.
For a moment I was stunned, not sure if she really was there or was a creation of my imagination. I stammered, "What...you...what...?"
She smiled at me and said, "Surprised to see me Ivor?"
"Yes...yes...you never said...mentioned..."
"No, I only made up my mind at the last minute. Are you pleased to see me?"
Was I please to see her! "Yes...yes...I've wanted..."
"Then why don't you welcome your mother properly instead of just standing there."
We came into each other's arms and hugged and kissed. I was so relieved to see her; the one person I'd least expected – not that I'd expected anyone – and at that moment I felt in a sense like a child again in my mother's arms, knowing that everything would be all right now; although it hadn't been all right a couple of years back.
She was warm and soft, just as she had always been, the epitome of the Great Earth Mother, the goddess that mother's often are for their children. In her embrace her warmth seemed to enter me and start to melt the darkness that had pervaded me since Wendy.
She stood back looking at me. "Ivor, you look terrible, is something wrong...have you been eating properly...no, you haven't, at least not here because I seen the rubbish you brought with you. Just as well I brought some decent food; and you haven't shaved and your hair needs cutting. Let's have a cup of tea; I was just making one before you turned up.
I think I almost burst out laughing at that moment. It was so typical of mother, fussing over me and then offering tea.
"Yes," I said, "I'll join you in a cup of tea."
We sat the kitchen table as mother poured.
"What brought you here mum?"
"What do you think brought me here?"
"You needed a break?"
Patiently, as if talking to an idiot, mother said, "It's you that's brought me here."
"Me, but what about the business?"
Mum ran a hairdressing and beauty salon and it usually took a bit or organising before she could get away from it.
"Oh, Natalie and Samantha can run it while I'm away, they're both quite competent."
"How long are you staying?" I asked.
"As long as you are."
"But I'm staying for a fortnight."
"Then I'm staying for a fortnight."
"Oh...you said you've come here for me."
"Ivor, don't play games with me, we've had enough of that in the past. I knew there must be something wrong, I could tell it from the sound of your voice on the telephone, and anyway you've never wanted to be here on your own before."
"Am I that transparent?"
"Yes, you always were to me, as you should know by now."
I tried to make a joke of it. "I'm transparent to you even when you can't see me?"
"Ivor, you're trying to be humorous, but you don't feel humorous, so stop it. I've come here because I felt you were in trouble."
"No...no...not exactly trouble it's just something that..."
"I don't really want to talk about it."
"All right, I won't pry, but just do your self and me a favour and go and have a shower and a shave, and for God's change those filthy clothes, and then I'll give you a hair cut, I brought some of my gear with me."
Obedient as ever I trotted off for my shower. Under the influence of the warm water I got my first erection since Wendy left me. I don't think it was only the warm water, but mum's presence; things always seemed to be all right when she was around. But of course, there was a bit more to it than that, in fact there was a lot more to it.
When I'd finished I put on my towelling bath robe and headed for my bedroom. To get there I had to cross the lounge and mum had already set up a chair and had her scissor and comb at the ready.
"I'll cut your hair now," she said.
"I don't really want my hair..."
"Yes, you do. I'm not going to spend a fortnight with you looking like badly abused lavatory brush, so sit down."
Obediently I sat, and in lieu of the usual hairdresser's cloth she put a kitchen tea towel round my neck.
Snip...click...click...click...snip...my hair seemed to fall in dark clouds.
"Mum, you'll make me bald."
"No I won't, and anyway it's fashionable to be bald these days."
"But I don't want..."
"Oh stop fussing Ivor, I'm making you look pretty."
"But men aren't supposed to look..."
"Then it's about time they did. Do you know how many men come into my shop for perms?"
"But you just said it's fashionable to be..."
Snip...comb..."There, that's done, and don't you feel better?"
I had to admit I did feel better.
I rose and gave her a mock bow and said, "May I go and dress now, your ladyship?"
"I got lunch ready while you were showering," she said, "so let's sit and eat it now."
"I've opened a tin of salmon and I brought some things with me to make a salad, so wait until after we've eaten and then you can dress."
As we sat eating she asked, "Have you been sleeping properly?"
"Mmm, it's a girl isn't it – sorry, said I wouldn't pry."
"It's all right, you might as well know. She dumped me."
"Yes, I'd asked her to marry me but she wasn't serious, she went off with another bloke."
"Did you really think it would work out with her even if she'd said yes?"
"You already know the answer to that."
"Yes, I do."
I picked up the last piece of tomato on my fork and put it into my mouth chewed briefly and then swallowed.
"That's the first proper meal I've eaten since...since..."
"That was how you were before, remember? Not eating, not bothering to shave, you had me worried sick, but I suppose it was mostly my fault."
"Not your fault mum, it was me who started it; that's why I had to...to do what I did."
"Yes, I understood."
There was a long silence. Mother had finished eating and seemed to be staring into space, or perhaps it was some inner image of the past that she saw.
She rose abruptly and said, "I'm going to take a look around the place to see if there's anything that needs fixing, it's been a long time since the place was used. Why don't you get some rest, you look as if you need it."
"Yes, I think I could sleep now. By the way, there is a tap over the bath that needs a new washer, there aren't any around the place but I'll fix it as soon as I can get to Port Crown and buy some."
"Right, I'll take a look outside, the fence up by the road looked rickety last time we were here, it probably needs fixing or replacing. Then I think I'll have shower.
She stood looking at me for a few moments, and then turned and went out the door to start her inspection.
There was little to be cleared up after our meal so I did what was necessary and suddenly felt very tired. I know it sounds pathetically childish, but now mother was here everything was okay, I could eat and sleep again, and oddly the thought of Wendy didn't hurt nearly as much as it had.
As if to confirm my infantile condition at that time I did something that had been a frequent habit since my early days.
In the lounge was what my father called, "The biggest divan in the southern hemisphere." Whether it should properly be called a divan I'm not sure, it was something that resembled a double bed.
When in times past the shack had been overcrowded with friends and relatives, as it had sometimes been especially around Christmas time, this divan had been used by married couples as a bed.
When just my parents and I had been at the shack I often slept on it in preference to the single bed in my bedroom since the divan, as well as being spacious, was very comfortable.
I resorted to it now, using one of the cushions as a pillow.
I think I was asleep in seconds.
How long I slept I've never been sure. I was awakened by a sound and the room was dim which indicated it must have been after sunset.
The sound proved to be mother coming into the room to see if I was still sleeping. I could just see her standing by the bed looking rather like a grey ghost.
I sat up and she said, "Ah, so you are awake; how do you feel?
"Fine," I said, "I haven't felt as good since...it must be your influence."
She laughed softly and switched on a standard lamp and I could see she was wearing a pale blue neck to knee housecoat.
She came and sat on the divan. I was sitting up, my back against the wall that ran along the back of the divan.
She took my hand in hers, and for a while we sat in silence.
After a while she said, "You know why I've come, don't you?"
"I think so."
"Has anything changed?"
"No, I told you it never would."
"Not even when you were with the girl?"
"No, that was different, I had to have something...had to have a future. But I didn't even have that, did I? Has anything changed for you?"
"It died then...I mean, you...you don't feel the same way?"
"Yes darling, I still feel the same."
"So what's changed?"
"Do you mind if we don't talk about that just yet?"
"Not if you don't want to but...but what do you want to talk about?"
* * * * * * * *
Here I feel I must pause in my narrative and hark back nearly ten years to when I was thirteen.
It all began in this very place, the shack. There were only my parents and me stopping here and we had been swimming. Coming back from the beach I'd started to change in my bedroom.
Looking for a particular top to put on I couldn't find it so I went to my parents' bedroom looking for mother. I don't know where my father was, but mother was there. She had just taken off her bathing costume and was naked.
I had never seen a naked woman before – least of all mother – except in some of the magazines we boys pored over at school. To see one in the flesh was a very different experience.
For a few moments we stood gazing at each other, and then mother almost casually pulled on a housecoat that had been lying on the bed.
I was at that crucial point in my development when my penis was starting to grow and pubic hair appeared; a time between masturbation and the first penetration of a vagina and when bare breasted island maidens danced in my dreams.
I had seen my first naked woman in the flesh, and it was a moment I shall never forget.
Perhaps some description of mother may help my reader.
As far as I can recall she must have been thirty three or four at the time. To me she had always been beautiful, although I must grant that not everyone might have seen her like that – not as a loving son saw her.
She is tall for a woman – five feet ten or eleven. From the top down: her hair is dark and being a beautician and hairdresser always beautifully cared for, and cut straight at shoulder length and seems to ripple as she moves.
Her face is rather like an elongated triangle, starting at a broad forehead and going down to the point of a narrow chin that just missed being sharp.
Her nose is what I believe is called a Roman nose, slightly aquiline and her mouth small with rosebud-like lips, her eyes a strange aqua colour.
Her neck tends to be long and on it her head sits very erect.
Her figure is slender but swelling in those places that ideally the female figure is supposed to swell. Her hip measurements I have never checked, but for those concerned about such matters her breasts were not overly large, and I actually know her bra size – how I know is none of your business – 34C.
I think it is her legs that might be described as her salient attraction. They are long but well proportioned with the rest of her body, and shapely in themselves, ending with slim ankles and small feet.
In the few moments I had to view her naked body that day long ago I caught a glimpse of a full mons with a dusting of pubic hair over it and below it just a hint of the lips of her vulva.
That was how I saw her that first time and I stood there bewildered and embarrassed.
It was mother who, having calmly covered herself, asked, "Did you want something darling?"
I had to make an effort to remember what I'd entered her room for, but I managed to stammer out that I was looking for my green top and couldn't find it. She told me where it was and I left her.
Those few moments were to haunt me throughout my puberty and beyond. Even the girls I enjoyed in my later teenage years did not bring forgetfulness, and as time passed I became sexually obsessed with mother.
I found every excuse and reason I could to embrace and kiss her, and as I became familiar through my girl friends with the female responses to arousal, I came to realise that mother was being aroused by my closeness.
I began to feel envious of my father that he had an access to her body and I had not, and I started to listen at night for sounds of them copulating. Perhaps it was as well that I never did hear them because it might have driven me out of my mind.
Of course it could not go on like that, something had to give; either I overcame my lust for mother or had at least to discover whether she would give herself to me.
The climax came one weekend when my father was away. On the Saturday night mother had taken a shower just before going to bed. I was sitting in the lounge when she came to say good night, wearing only her nightdress.
As she kissed me I started to fondle one of her breasts. For a few moments she seemed to yield to my touch, but then she abruptly brushed my hand away.
"I know darling...I know...but we can't...mustn't...it isn't that I don't want to but...let me help you..."
I was seated in an armchair and she had been bending over me, and then she knelt and undid the zip of my jeans.
Taking out my penis she said, "This is all I can do for you," and she started to masturbate me.
As she felt that I was about to ejaculate she speeded up her movement, and then, as the sperm shot out of urethra her movements became more deliberate, pressing down hard on my foreskin as if to drive the sperm out of me.
When I had finished and was lying back recovering from the orgasm she said, "I'm so sorry darling it's all I can give you."
If she thought that masturbating me would bring an end to my desire for her, she was wrong. Her action had been like throwing petrol on a fire, but at least it was out in the open now. She knew clearly how I felt about her, and had admitted that she wanted to give me more.
Many times after that she relieved me in that way, only to make my hunger for her even sharper.
Of course we talked about our feelings, and as far as mother was concerned she could not bring herself to commit adultery and incest. Despite all the talk we both knew that a time must come when we would yield.
It was this that finally caused me to leave home. I believed that if ever we did eventually give in, afterwards mother would be devastated. And so I left home, torn inside because as I saw it I was leaving the love of my life; and despite Wendy, mother had remained my great love.
* * * * * * * *
Even the touch of mother's hand on mine caused the old magic to work. I started to get an erection as I waited for her to speak again.
At first she said nothing, but her hand crept inside my robe and took hold of my penis. As she began to stroke it I cried out, "No...no mother...I...we're past all that...I'm not going through all that torment again."
She leaned forward and kissed me and said, "You won't have to, darling; I'm trying to tell you I'm ready now."
"If you still want me, but then, I can feel you do, and I haven't come here just to talk, I want you; that's what I've come for."