Hail To Whatever You FoundbyHarryC©
The summer that caused the staggered dissolution of my marriage began coolly, just a long calm until the heat rolled in like a thick fat cloud and settled sharply on my skin. The sky was coloured the same shade of blue as the deepest parts of the Pacific, and wispy clouds were scattered sparsely through it with such perfect beauty that looking out a window was like gazing upon a watercolour.
In our garden, the vegetation blossomed with a biblical fecundity. Flowers bowed their heads under a profusion of startlingly vivid blooms, and the scent of jasmine and gardenia mingled with that of the orange trees to produce an intoxicating blend of smells that you could taste whenever you inhaled through your mouth.
I had recently been laid off by my company, a food producer that had employed me to travel internationally promoting their "local, home grown produce". My function was firstly to glamorise the concept of selling non-corporate food in an age where free-range means a chicken's flesh isn't stippled with the mesh of a cage. My less spoken purpose was to disabuse potential customers who might have heard that our community-friendly, animal-loving and wholesome image, complete with clichéd anthropomorphic iconography and a suitably rustic name, was actually just a front for a rather large, profit-oriented corporation. I had researched the company before I had joined them, straight out of college fifteen years ago, and had found that the company had been named for the last farmer to sell his land to the corporation – a little "fuck you" from an unusually vindictive CEO.
Our meats were battery-farmed and laden with chemicals. Our vegetables were grown as large as possible using fertilisers with formulae so complex that they outstripped science and became arcane. Every item they sell is designed to look beautiful and be cheap and fast to produce. Once, I had visited the hatchery, naively looking for a reality to sell to clients. I had left that minor hell moments after entering to vomit a pale stream of liquid onto the ground. I've forgotten most of the specifics; what I remember is the voiceless screaming motion of the chickens' necks, their bulging, liquid eyes and the scratchy, random patterns of their useless, broken legs.
You know this company's name – I just can't tell you it.
I had the right look to sell their product – I was beautiful, but rustically beautiful. My black hair was wild and thick and shone, but lacked cosmopolitan restraint. My face was ever so slightly larger than life, with huge, luminous green eyes and a button nose and ripe, naturally red lips. I always smiled too much. I was tall, too, and my breasts were big and heavy and stood proudly off my chest. My legs and arms were shapely, but muscular. The impression I gave, and that my employer's wanted me to give, was that I was the farmer's daughter, a hardy country blossom that had grown against all probability from a background of poverty and toil. The reality was that I had grown up in the city and had no idea which end of a cow was the one that you milked. As my husband put it, "Shelly only knows how to choke one kind of chicken." My ex-husband, I mean. Appreciating the ironies of my job was the only way to keep my soul.
For fifteen years, I had travelled the world, or at least the western world, selling the image, until someone decided that at 37 years old I was past my prime. Perhaps my breasts no longer stayed so resolute in their position if I didn't wear a bra, and perhaps I had a few laughter lines around my eyes, but I didn't think I had aged badly. Of course, they told me I was let go as the result of budget cutbacks, but it wasn't long before they somehow found the money to hire a cute little blond thing with curves like Jayne Mansfield. I supposed the same had happened when they had employed me, and I felt some regret for the nameless, faceless woman whom I had replaced.
I had taken the job, as probably everyone does with such jobs, as a stopgap – it was designed to finance our family as my younger husband finished medical school. Unfortunately, doctors didn't get paid as much as we had youthfully thought, at least not straight away, and we had become so acclimatised to my income that even once George was making an excellent amount of money, I still kept working. And now…
George came into the kitchen as I poured his fresh-ground coffee into the Denby mug on the hardwood table. In his hand was the pamphlet I had ordered off the internet.
"What's this?" he asked.
"Oh." I lied, "Just something Maria left when she was over yesterday. She's thinking of having some work done."
"Really." George leered comically. "What's she getting? Bigger tits? Some of those wrinkles ironed out?"
I swallowed. Maria was 31. She had average sized, beautiful breasts that had only begun to sag a little and still kept their perfect shape. The skin on her face was soft and olive, and lined only with the natural traces of a life lived happily and well. "Ah… she was thinking maybe both? Do you…"
"Do you think I could use some… work?"
George came over to me and wrapped one arm around my waist. Suddenly, I was intensely conscious of the inch or two of extra flesh sitting there.
"Honey, you know you're perfect, don't you?"
He said it sincerely, at least in intent, but with a rote quality, and I did not miss the appraising look in his eyes. It had been over six months since we had last made love. Did he wish my lips were pumped with collagen – red and fat and swollen like leeches on my face? Perhaps my breasts were insufficient; perhaps he wanted a circus freak of ripe, abundantly sexual flesh to feast on and satiate every aspect of his lust. Certainly, I was no longer the object of his desires.
George ate one grapefruit as usual, then gulped down his coffee and left without kissing me goodbye. I followed my own, newer, routine, and had a big glass of whisky, with some dry crackers to soak it up. I climbed the stairs to our bedroom, where I slipped off my nightdress and hurried into the bathroom, habitually keeping my back to the mirror.
I was immediately assailed by a pungent scent that was as instantly familiar as it was now rare for me to smell it. George had been jerking off. Now that I looked, I could see a small white smudge on the shower's glass door. It could have been soap, but then there was that smell. I trailed my finger through my husband's come and brought it up to my nose. I inhaled deeply, relishing the earthy, sexual smell. Before knowing I was going to do it, I licked the trace of come off my finger and swallowed it. Then I got into the shower.
I turned the water to its hottest setting and adjusted the spray so that the water was at its most dispersed and powerful. Each jet hit me like a small burning nail being pounded deliciously into my skin. The sensation was pleasurable in itself, but there was a pain underlying that pleasure that only enhanced the experience. The water scalded my breasts with an intensity I hadn't felt in a long, long time, and I could feel my big pink nipples swelling thickly.
My hands went to my breasts and caressed them just the way I liked. I placed my palms over my nipples and lightly locked my fingers together. Gently, I pressed my breasts together, and lifted them, then let them slowly down, repeating the cycle over and over. I squeezed my thighs tight together until my muscles stood out like rock and my entire body tingled with the pleasure of it. Reluctantly, I let go off my breasts and adjusted the shower so that it emitted a single, tight beam of water aimed straight at my bush. I didn't shave down there, and my pussy was surrounded in a cascade of rich black curls through which pleasantly hot water now tumbled.
I placed the middle finger of my right hand between my legs and let the lips of my pussy dangle around it. I had been in love with my cunt since I had discovered the joys of masturbation. Many times I had stood in one of the bathrooms of my parents' house and come over and over just staring at that soft, beautiful flesh between my legs. That wondrous, incomplete part that seemed connected directly to the core of my adult being and whose construction and beauty seemed a perfect metaphor for the mystery and power of womanhood. I knew every fold and wrinkle by heart. Without touching, I could feel the small, harmless mole that lay just above and to the right of my cunt, surrounded by my tuft of pubic hair. Without looking, I could see the thick nub of my clitoris, protruding lewdly from my labia.
I carefully parted the lips of my pussy and slowly penetrated myself with my middle finger. The muscles in my legs tingled and grew weak with the pleasure, and I allowed myself to collapse against the tiles, which were scattered hot and cold with the vagaries of the water and that, too, gave me pleasure. I was desperate now, biting my lower lip to contain my pleasure and pressing my tongue hard into the base of my mouth. One hand thrummed violently across my labia and my clit, and with the other I fucked myself, running first one, then two and then three fingers in and out in a pantomime of the age old act I had not experienced for so long.
My orgasm came swiftly, and with the primal force I still remembered from my first time. My skin flushed so hot that I could feel it even over the burn of the shower. My nipples were painfully hard one moment and then soft and sensitive the next. Nuclear bombs detonated in my cunt, their shockwaves tearing through my body in gradually diminishing waves. An electric shock shot from my core and spread, tingling, to the outer points of my being, paralysing me and filling every muscle to bursting with pleasure.
I sagged, and let myself rest against the wall as the pleasure slowly faded – not reluctantly, but with a natural joyousness in the knowledge that such pleasure should only ever be experienced briefly, lest it kill us. I don't know how long I rested, but when I recovered myself, the water had cooled and I had to wash under cold water that once again drove my nipples crazy.
This time, though, I controlled myself, and got out off the shower. The mirror in the bathroom was clouded, so I walked into the bedroom. Reluctantly, but forcing myself, I stood in front of the full-length mirror and looked straight into my eyes. Those hadn't aged. They were still that shocking green that had transfixed so many businessmen. My face was marked by the passage of time, but even now, without makeup, I still looked younger than my age, and with makeup, I could perhaps still pass for 30. My travelling gaze paused. The neck – the area of a woman that most shows her age. Yet my skin was still taut. More eagerly, I looked down. My big breasts, as I had been expecting since I was a teenager, sagged a bit. No longer would they pass the pencil test. Long ago, a doctor had told me that I would have back problems in later life if I didn't behave sensibly and always wear a bra. I hadn't been a slutty teenager, so I had obeyed him. What would I be like now, if I had not? My belly was flat and smooth. George and I had never had kids – we hadn't really wanted them with our careers, and he wasn't able to anyway. We had planned to adopt when we reached our mid forties. My pussy peered out from my thick bush, and when I lightly moved my fingers through my pubic hair, I saw that it was still as beautiful as when I was an 18 year old girl.
I hadn't felt so good about my appearance in years, and as a tribute to that, and due to the heat of the day, I put on a bikini and went out to sunbathe. I couldn't remember the last time I had so done, and as I hunted out the sun cream and found a towel to lie on, I felt nervousness flutter in my stomach with the same energy of the orgasm I had just had. Still, my euphoria held, and I wrestled the patio furniture into its sun bed configuration and contorted myself like a Cirque Du Soleil member as I smeared on the cream. I remember times long ago when I had had someone to do it for me. When it had been, like a foot massage, an acceptable form of sexual contact for a young persons' date. I recalled boyfriends unsuccessfully hiding their erections, particularly George who had been somewhat unwise in choosing a Speedo to wear. It's easier for a girl – "Oh, it's just the cold".
It was one of those perfect summer days that you only get in a temperate climate. The sun was very warm, but not hot, and complimented with a light breeze that carried the scent of the neighbours' roses to me. The wind was treacherous, though, and the day hotter than I supposed. My stamina was slowly sapped, until my eyelids weighed heavily and the mere action of lifting them when they closed became unpleasant. Finally, aware all the time, yet unable to do anything about it, I fell asleep and dreamed a true dream.
The first thing I dreamt was the scent of sun cream, perhaps the nucleus of reality around which my dream formed. Then, there was sand between my toes, and my friend Louise was next to me, sharing my large beach towel. Our legs were touching, and in the breezeless day I could feel the tiny hairs lining her legs tickling me. In my dream, I remembered and realised, "Yes, this happened. I remember this."
Louise kneels on the towel beside me and her long form is silhouetted against the sun and cast over me in shadow. She asks me to do her back, and I rub the cream in with the tips of my fingers, lighter and longer than I need to, perhaps. Her hair is the perfect shade of red, the colour of the finale of a slow sunset at the equator. Her skin is pale, and will never tan – the cream is for her an essential caution. She is my opposite – tall and lean, born on the cusp of a shift in perception. At the moment, my voluptuous form is the standard of beauty; ten, fifteen years later and she would be the one all the older men stare at on the street. Here, at eighteen, we are yet to reach the pinnacle of our beauty, but for many that flush of youth is as potent an aphrodisiac as any more physical characteristic.
Down from us, a boy we both recognise from school but whose name neither of us knows tries to surreptitiously edge closer to us and fails. Louise notices him and so do I, though I pretend not to. Louise points him out to me and asks if I want to have some fun. It is a rhetorical question. Louise runs the straps of her bikini top down her shoulders until they dangle on the cream tops of her small breasts. Neither of our fathers know that we have bikinis – we bought them secretly ourselves, sneaking into the store and sweating gallons for every second we had to stand at the counter. Louise reaches behind, and her hands close on the clasp and pause. She badly makes a show of looking around, somehow managing to miss the boy less than twenty feet away.
Louise undoes the clasp and takes off her top. She lays it between us, and as she turns to do so, her breasts seem to stare straight at me and I can't stop looking. Her nipples are tiny compared to mine, smaller than pennies but just as coppery. They are hard, and stand protuberant on her small tits and I know, in my stomach, that it is not the cold that has caused those sharp points. I manage to look away – the boy is staring hungrily at her back, aching for a look at her breasts in a day when pornography was much harder to get than an Internet search. Louise winks at me and lies down on her front, never letting him see. She tells me to take off my top, but I refuse.
We lie like that for twenty minutes, both on our front. I can feel my breasts compressed beneath me, and each time I look over, the boy is staring at Louise, admiring the sides of her breasts. She tells me it's time, and we both turn over. The boy finally sees her breasts and both Louise and I try to be blasé about the firm cylinder that first swells and then stands outlined thickly against his shorts. Glottaly, Louise tells me again to take my top off and this time, I want to and do. My breasts are much larger than Louise's, and she stares at them. We look over as a loud gasp comes from the boy, and see a large black stain spreading over his already dark shorts. Louise and I both know what it is that has happened, but it is no less of a shock just because we read a passage in a book that got passed furtively round all the girls in our year. Louise brushes one of my breasts with her hand and apologises. I tell her it's okay. On her bikini bottoms, I see a dampness subtler than the boy's – he has rushed into the water, to wash away the stains like a sailor leaving port. There is a scent I recognise from nights spent sleepless with a strange hunger and urgency from the region we are told in classes, taught by a red faced English teacher who stayed seated for each lesson, is called a vagina. I realise that I, too, am wet down there, and I feel that hitherto unfulfilled desire more desperately than I ever have before.
Louise is red in the face, but far braver than I am. She asks me if I ever touch myself when I get like this. I am uncertain of what she means, so she elaborates. Do I ever run fingers over my vagina, until a deep, pleasurable feeling spreads through me? I tell her no, and I am not lying. Louise looks embarrassed and concerned and uncertain in equal measure, but finally gets up and tells me to follow her. We are both still topless and the tangible sensation of people, of men, watching us only feeds my arousal.
We walk into the trees that line the beach, and keep going until we find an area thickly forested enough for privacy, but with a clearing in which we can spread out. Louise has me sit on the ground, and herself leans on a tree, one leg spread wide, foot poised elegantly on a thick fallen branch. Louise tells me to trust her and, still hugely embarrassed but not as embarrassed as me, rolls down her bikini bottoms.
The first, shocking difference, is her hair. The hair around her vagina is the exact shade of that on her head, which unaccountably surprises me. It is thinner, too, and I can see her vagina very clearly. It is utterly different from mine. Her inner lips protrude thickly from her vagina, and are a much pinker colour. Against her pale skin, the pink seems irrepressibly lewd. Her vagina is messier than mine, almost sloppy looking, and perfectly beautiful.
She tells me to show her mine, and I do. It would be impossible not to, now. In this clearing, we are the only people alive on earth and normal behaviour does not apply. We are lost, trapped, in the moment. We have known each other since our first day of school, and this is the first time we have seen each other naked. We drown in each other's bodies, and our gazes probe with infinite care.
Louise's fingers reach into the hair between her legs and begin to dance there. Her lips part in a silent moan, and I note the evidence of pleasurable nights kept secret from the ears of her parents. She is very gentle in her movements. Our generation was not born with the current irreverence for sex.
Louise shows me how to use my fingers. She teaches me where it feels good to touch, and where it feels great to touch. Though we do not touch each other, she becomes my first lover. In my shame-filled heart, I feel the urge to do with Louise what women have done for centuries, and I am sure she feels the same.
I woke from the dream in one of those sudden shocks where you feel like you are falling and are just barely caught by whatever you are lying on. I could feel a damp heat in my pussy, and I was not surprised to find my hand resting on it above the fabric of my bikini bottoms. I smiled to myself: I considered this bikini to be completely respectable, but if I had worn it back on that day at the beach, I would probably have got more disapproving glances than if I had set up a stall offering free blowjobs.
I was lying wondering what had happened to Louise, when I realised I was once again being watched – and once again, it was an eighteen year old boy. The neighbours' son, Bruce, stood watching me. Bruce was a dull boy, would be the quick way of saying it. The long way would be to state that he was honest, instead of smart, decent, instead of interesting, and stolid, instead of inspired. He was a handsome forgettable teenager and he would no doubt become a handsome, forgettable car salesman. His future was beige.