The first thing you should know about me is that I hate tie-dye. Really really hate it.
My mom was a child of the 60's, a groupie, she followed bands, artists, anyone who had a space on their van and a reefer spare. I'm not sure she ever had a real job other than being a groupie, but to earn money she made tie-dyes, T-shirts, skirts, scarves, anything and everything. My arrival didn't change anything, except that every single thing I wore was fuckin' tie-dyed.
I grew up backstage, at concerts, in pubs, anywhere the band played, whichever band mom was following, ok, whichever musician she was screwing, same thing really. One of the 'rock stars' mom followed was legendary for fathering illegitimate children, I once heard him answer a question about it, "when I eat beans and fart, why should I care which bean caused it?" He was not my father, at least I look nothing like him and besides, on my birth certificate under 'Father' it says 'Artist'. That is one of two things I know about my father, the other is that I inherited his talent.
Mom claimed I could draw before I could walk, all I know is that it's a gift, part of me, a big part of me, probably the best part of me.
Few people know about my childhood, it's not something I talk about, not because it was awful, in some ways it was a child's dream. I never went to school because we were constantly moving, living in vans, caravans, sometimes in hotels or other peoples houses, I helped mom with the tie-dying, kept out of the way and sketched constantly with pencil or pen, on anything I could get, mostly the backs of posters and discarded set lists.
My prized possession was my satchel, the straps were broken when I found it, but Rhonda fixed them for me and I took it everywhere, all that I valued was inside that satchel, every sketch I'd made, all carefully folded away, I still have it, that, my birth certificate and £32.78 was all I had when I left. Sixteen years old and still wearing fuckin' tie-dyes..!!
There was no dreadful reason for running away, just a lot of wants. I wanted to wear proper clothes, I wanted to be myself, I wanted a life of my own, not to be dependant on who Mom was screwing and how successful they were. Plus I was no longer a little kid, the tit fairy had eventually arrived and although she wasn't overly generous she left enough that people noticed. A sixteen year old girl surrounded by roadies and musicians, most of whom spent their free time drinking or getting high is never going to remain a virgin for long, one way or another I was going to lose my cherry, willingly or not. Well fuck them..!! I beat them to it. Her name was Rhonda and she ran a leather stall, travelling around the country to concerts and fairs. We bumped into her quite often and I'd known her for years, long before she repaired my satchel straps, long enough to trust her, not completely trust her, but enough.
Rhonda had the hots for me, I had the hots for anything that wasn't tie-dyed. So we made a deal, my cherry for a new pair of jeans and one of her leather jackets. The next morning I left. I think of Rhonda more often than I think of my Mom.
People make such a fuss about sex. I think the less sex they have the more they want to dictate how other people should have it, or not have it. They love telling everyone how not to have it. I grew up with it, the posters, the language, the roadies shagging anything in a skirt, it was just there, part of life. It is life. But until the tit fairy arrived it was not part of my life.
Rhonda changed that.
She was cool. Amongst a crowd of characters she stood out. Rhonda was all woman, her own woman, she stood up for herself without ever being butch, she was sexy without being a tease, most of all she hated tie-dye..!! My kind of woman..!!
That one time with her changed my outlook on life forever. It started one afternoon, her stall was set up ready for the next day, the stage across the field looked like the storming of the Bastille and sounded like Armageddon in stereo. The rain that day was torrential, the roadies cursing worse than usual, inside Rhonda's battered caravan the aromas of leather mixed with fresh brewed 'real' coffee. To this day I'm addicted to both.
I had been sketching a young groupie, a Swedish girl who had spent all summer hooked on heavy rock and roadie cock. When the rain started she had stripped off her clothes and gone out into the field, dancing around to pulsing beat of the never ending sound-checks. That girl could dance, really dance, her body gyrating in a way that made language superfluous, long blonde hair flying, body clad in raindrops and mud, her bare feet hardly touching the ground. I had been sitting under a tree, crouched over trying to keep the paper dry as my pencil traced her image, my fingers as always assuming a life of their own as they sought to keep hold of the pencil as it flicked and swooped to the rhythm of the girls body.
The sketch was almost complete when Rhonda's voice broke through my concentration. "My god, one look at that drawing and I can taste her." To this day I'm not sure it she was thinking aloud. Something I've never understood, just because I draw girls does not mean I'm a lesbian, anymore that drawing sheep makes me a shepherdess. Ok so now I am a lesbian, but why do people assume that just because of my subject matter? It's about as logical as the 'short skirt makes you a whore' brigade, with their endless tirades of bullshit.
Inside Rhonda's caravan we traded, her coffee for more sketches, she had a good eye and an honesty I appreciated even more than the coffee. We talked of art and craft, designs and desires, those desires soon focused on those she had for me. "How come I rarely see you? I know you're always around."
"When you go back-stage, have you ever noticed a flight-case..?" I asked her, watching her face as she thought about my question and how it might relate to hers. "They're everywhere, but no one case stands out, that's me, I find a niche and get comfortable, if I stay still I can see everything, everyone, yet nobody sees me, or rather nobody registers that I'm there." I grinned. "Just 'cos I've never been to school does not make me dumb."
"You've never..? Oh my.." Rhonda stopped talking and just looked at me, not a scare stare, her expression reflected a new appreciation, a greater understanding, and as I was soon to find out, a greater desire. "I want you." No subtlety, "more than that I want you to want me to." It took a moment to work my way through her words, "If you do, then we're going to make love, not fuck, fucking is good, but meaningless to the soul, making love is sharing souls, it has meaning."
"I'm a virgin."
"You've never..? Oh my.." Rhonda paused, "I really must stop saying that.."
I stood up, stepped back from her so she could see me properly, "you want this?" I asked, twirling once, my tie-dyed smock wafting around my body. "I like you Rhonda, I like you a lot, but if you want my cherry, I want something in return." Her eyes narrowed, her smile beginning to form a scowl, "no, I'm not after much, just clothes, any clothes, so long as they are not fuckin' tie-dyed..!!
Her scowl dissolved into laughter. "Deal, but clothes first," she paused to look at me, a hard look as if to drive her words home, "and they're yours to keep, even if we don't make love, understood?"
As good as her word she looked me up and down carefully then stepped out, splashing through the puddles to her van, returning quickly, yet even that short time left her hair soaked and clothes dripping. "Undress."
"You too, you're soaking."
"More than you know, sweet cheeks." Her grin promised much, her eyes promised more.
I stripped of my smock, kicked off the worn sandals and stood naked as Rhonda undressed, she wore more and took longer, not that I minded, I was quite happy absorbing every detail of her body, smooth creamy skin that was tight enough to hint at the muscle beneath, only her hips carried a little extra, and the extra padding did nothing to hurt her beauty, not a magazine beauty but her looks and body oozed sensuality.
Gathering up my discarded clothes she 'marched' them to the waste bin, humming the funeral march theatrically, the bin closed, I wanted to cheer.. so I did..!!
Rhonda produced a pair of kick-ass leather boots. She called them 'semi-biker', the leather jacket looked worn, "It's not second-hand, it's just been out on display too long, too much sun and rain, but it'll last you, and it's better than giving you a new one that some prick will steal, or accuse you of stealing." Her words made perfect sense, besides I didn't care, a leather jacket of my own..!! The fit was loose, but again as Rhonda pointed out, "you'll grow into it quick enough and come winter you'll want more clothes underneath it."
Standing there naked but for the boots and jacket I needed to thank her. I express myself better with a pencil, but right then a sketch was just not enough, I stepped right up to her and hugged her tight, our eyes locked, then our lips, her hands moved to pull me closer, her body still damp, except her pussy, that was soaking, as I soon found out..
But not too soon 'cos the kiss lasted forever, my first real lovers kiss, Rhonda's lips moved over mine, teaching as they enticed, her tongue joined in, adding another lesson, I was a good student, dutifully practising and repeating everything they taught, until Rhonda's grip on my ass tightened and her nipples burned my tits. "Jeans later, bed now." Breathlessly she eased me out of the jacket and reluctantly paused to help me off with the boots, then we merged together again, flowing into one another, into bed, into ecstasy.
Her kisses spread out across my body, my fingers spread across hers. She moaned, then kissed lower, slower, until I gripped her head and pushed her down, my legs opening as she tasted me. Rhonda ate my pussy. Swallowed my cum. Never stopping until long after I had mirrored every loving kiss and tongue tease, I tasted her, swallowed her. I ate her pussy. It was evening before we left the bed, left our sweat on the sheets and our cum on each other's faces.
As the coffee brewed we clung to one another, eyes glazed, tongues licking between kisses, bodies drained, thighs wet, my pussy throbbing, my clit as sore as my nipples, I wanted coffee, food, but then I wanted more of Rhonda, much more. Just as well, because she wanted more of me, my cherry, and late that night she had my ass too.
In time I learnt about dildos and all the other kinds of toys, but not with Rhonda. She loved me with her body, nothing else, she taught me how to pleasure my body, her body, a woman's body, lessons I've never forgotten. That night I cried out as her fingers finally pierced me deep, cried louder when much later they withdrew. She filled me so full for so long she left me feeling empty, as if I needed to be full to be complete, full of her fingers, her tongue, as full as I must have made her feel when I copied her every move, thrusting and licking until she too screamed and clutched my head tight between her thighs. By the time her tongue found my ass I could refuse her nothing, the sensations burned hotter as her tongue went deeper, then her fingers stoked the furnace in my ass and my pussy exploded, erupting far beyond my control, splattering her with the lava of love.
With practice came confidence, ever the eager student of her lessons in loving I finally took charge, no longer simply copying, I began to lead, Rhonda happily following as I had her kneel, body bent far forward, my hands opening her up as my tongue sought out her ass, she tasted of lust and cum, my tongue delved deeper, my fingers followed until she was bucking and writhing, panting for breath and begging for more. That night I gave her more, gave her everything, willingly.
Rhonda was all woman.
The next morning I shared a last coffee with her, kissed her one last time, grinning at the taste of myself on her lips, knowing I tasted of her. Boots and jacket, jeans and satchel, I had entered her caravan a girl, I stepped out of her caravan a woman, the T-shirt she gave me was from a Spanish leather supplier. I don't know if Rhonda understood Spanish, or if she chose that T-shirt on purpose, translated it said, "leather makes me hot, whipping makes me wet." I only learned that later though..
I spent the rest of the summer in Blackpool. I hadn't planned on it, I just walked to the main road and stuck out my thumb, the truck driver who stopped was headed for Blackpool, so that's where I went. It was easy to lose myself amongst the tourists, and I soon found that if I sat near the steps to the beach I could exchange sketches for money, pencil portraits, caricatures, whatever they would pay for. In the evenings I'd mingle with the crowds, on a good night I ate fish and chips wrapped in Newspaper, the real way, before the health nazi's banned it. Steaming coffee in paper cups with the funfair noise and flashing lights. On a bad night I just had coffee.
At night I slept on Tina's sofa, paying rent by tidying up and doing her washing. I met Tina the first week, both of us seeking shelter from the rain in a late night cafe that catered to taxi drivers and whores. Tina was not a taxi driver. She had a flat just off the 'Golden Mile' and worked the streets between taking care of her regulars. She used to be a dancer at the Pavilion, until she got pregnant, the guy she thought to marry turned out to have a wife and an aversion to responsibility, he was gone before she miscarried and crawled into a bottle. In her words she 'drank herself onto the streets'. Tina worked late and slept late so we hardly saw each other. Every morning I would take her washing down to the launderette, sit and sketch was the sheets and towels tumbled, then carry them back to the flat and fold them up neatly, the kettle boiling as I dusted and wiped, no hoover, it would have woken Tina, she took care of that later. My chores done I'd head back out, rain or shine, a sunny spot on the steps or a shelter near the pier, either way I'd sketch the day away, selling what I could, waiting for something, not yet sure of what I wanted that something to be.
Summer disappeared, packed away like the deck chairs and donkeys, the families went away and Blackpool died. The famous illuminations drew crowds, but they were different, here for the lights and the booze, the Pavilion shows and the funfair. I said good-bye to Tina and hit the road again, my thumb got me a ride to Bradford, the driver expected 'a little fun,' he was disappointed. I left him cursing when I leapt out as he stopped at the next traffic lights. My cheery "thank for the lift," apparently less than he expected, tough.
Bradford was wet, cold and somehow uninviting, so I moved on to Leeds, not far but what a difference. Especially as it was there I met Chris.
Tucked away along a busy side street I found "Brush Strokes" and "Frames & Dames". They shared a single front door which gave access to them both. On the left was what I knew I was looking for, an artists supply shop, "Brush Strokes". Whilst to the right was what I didn't know I was looking for, a small gallery specialising in the female form, some kinky, most in some form of undress, all of it truly art, no crass porn or garish prints.
Christine, Chris, was the Manager for both, tall and commanding, dressed in leather, I only went in to buy a sketch pad, but..
Years of sketching people has taught me a lot about them, their posture, their body language, the way they moved, all formed a part of their character, at least to me. Movement and posture reveals a lot about people, a lot more than they realise, especially the difference between that which is conscious and that which is natural, unconscious. Lots of people hold themselves differently in certain situations, puffing themselves up like bantam hens, few can ever hold the posture for long, soon they get distracted and revert to their natural stance.
The very first thing I noticed about Chris was her poise, an economy of movement combined with perfect comportment, just her silhouette drew my attention, fingers seeking a pencil, my natural reaction to anything that interested me, draw it..!!
Tall and svelte, wide shoulders, a swimmers body, sleek and toned. Long black hair, glossy and dense, woven into a single long braid that coiled like a snake or flicked like a lioness's tail. Her eyes seemed black, yet shone like polished onyx, passion turned them a deep purple, passion changed her a lot. Her eyes captivated me, so open that the iris was fully visible, floating in pools of pure white, yet her eyelids could appear hooded if her mood changed, icy anger or scorching passion, her moods reflected in those eyes, never her feelings.
Maybe Chris reminded me of Rhonda? She certainly had that same way of following her own path, ever sure of who she was and where she was going, but Chris added a steely determination and precise control. Rhonda's naked body oozed sensuality, Chris's projected power.
Soon after I had arrived in Blackpool I had changed my hair to suit my new look. The hairdresser didn't understand what I wanted until I drew it. "Can you do that?" I asked.
"The Junior could do that..!!" For some reason she seemed to think that cutting my long tresses was sacrilege. Tough.
"Great..!! Is she cheaper?" I grinned, enjoying her spluttering and hoping to save my money.
Chris watched me as I entered the shop, I wondered briefly if she thought I was going to steal something, in time I would be able to read her expressions, back then I often misread them.
The sketch pads were certainly good quality, that I recognised, but I wanted what I knew, and the makes were not ones I recognised, not surprising since I normally bought my pads in the 'pound shops' and from Saturday market stalls. Chris watched me as I examined several different pads, comparing texture and grain. "So you sketch?" Her tone not exactly disbelief, but certainly close to condescending.
"Yes, a little, do you?" Take that snob..!!
"No I don't, but I do recognise talent and I have an eye for what sells." An honest answer, I wondered if I'd misjudged her..?
"And what does sell here?" After all, I needed to either sell my work or get a job, and soon.
"Why don't we just cut to the chase?" Her eyes flicked to my satchel, "you seem to have some of your work with you, let me see and I'll give you my opinion, unlike that sketch pad, my opinion is free." Hmm, maybe she does think I'm a thief?
Nothing ventured etc, "Ok, thank you." I slipped the straps from my shoulders and bent down, undoing the twin buckles that held the flap closed, I didn't need to search, I know exactly were every sketch is, withdrawing a certain sketch I stood up and unfolded it, laying it out on the top of a display cabinet.
Chris was silent for a long moment, still studying it as she spoke, "you drew this?"
I did my best to smile sweetly as I dug in my pocket, trying my best not to give away my acute lack of funds. "First I need to buy the pad, this one please." I returned the others to their places, holding out a much folded and slightly torn twenty pound note.
Chris took the note, but made no move to ring up the sale, she just stood there, eyes focused on me, waiting, challenging.
Flipping the pad open I stepped back, taking my satchel with me as I sat down, the pad balanced on my thigh. "Comfortable? This will take a few minutes.
Chris never moved.
I took a pencil from my jacket pocket and started, my fingers as always trying to hang on to the pencil as it flicked across the pad. My pencil is not magic, it's just an ordinary artists pencil, it's just that when I sketch I always feel as if the pencil is controlled by my eyes, not my fingers, they are just along for the ride.