This text was originally submitted for a contest held a few years ago to explain Celeste's temporary [alas, now permanent] absence from Celestial Reviews on ASSM. Some readers have become confused between the author, the narrator, and characters in the story. One reader even suggested there may be some autobiographical reference involved. This is naïve, but understandable for several reasons. First, the name of the putative author, Homer Vargas, is also the name of a character in the story. Second, although the story is written in the impersonal third person, at various points the narrator speaks to the reader as "I," seeming, thereby to pierce the veil between author and narrator. Finally, the character "Homer Vargas," also claims to be a writer of erotic stories as the putative author would appear to be.
Readers should not be distressed by these shenanigans as other writers such as Phil Roth, Johnny Updike, even Homer's own cousin, Mario Vargas Llosa, have done the same. Nor is this a new literary device. You probably remember that Mickey Cervantes in Book Two explicitly poo-poos any correspondence between himself and the author of Book One of "Don Quijote." Doubts have even been expressed about the authenticity of Homer's own namesake, although most scholars now agree that both The Oddessy and The Iliad were written either by Homer or by someone with the same name.
Professor Gail Myrthwright has an excellent treatment of the problem of subject/frame interaction in her recent thesis, "Exhibitionism and Self Reference in Internet Erotica." In her paper, Professor Myrthwright cites dialogue of Mercedes Cortez a character in "A New Infection," also by Homer Vargas (or someone with the same name) to explain the phenomenon:
"But, Vivian, can't you see, deconstruction of a text ALWAYS requires attention to the semiotic conventions of time and place. I find your attempt at a-historical analysis futile, at best. A deeper analysis . . . uuh, yes, a little deeper. DEEPER, Darling. You KNOW how Mommy likes it! Oh, oooh, OOOOH!"
While holding in tension the dialectic so well expressed by Dr. Cortez, Ms Myrthwright also presents us with the contrarian view which Vargas puts in the words of Vivian Wu in the same story:
"Mechas, my dear, you simply fail to recognize the importance of STRUCTURE. A hermeneutic exegesis of a messages can no more be disguised by convention than can the language in which it is transmitted. With a little more time I know I can explain it to you. I'm really so close. YES! So CLOSE. Work that tongue, you bitch, ...AYYYYY!"
Those interested in a broader, if somewhat popular, treatment of issues of self reference, should see "Godle, Escher, Bach" by Douglas R. Hofstadter. The rest of you, who may be tiring of this postmodernist horseshit by now, can go right on to the story below.
* * * * *
I know a lot a people have been wondering why Celeste has withdrawn "temporarily" from publishing the Celestial Reviews. I don't suppose anyone actually believes the phony explanation she put out in CR 310. Hard disk crash. Haa! The story is a lot more complicated. Incredibly, it started with the marital problems of a minor pornwriter, "Homer Vargas," thus . . . .
Homer loved his Angela.
He loved her deeply, totally. She was his light, his life. Even after thirteen years of marriage, she still had the smashing figure of a woman in her twenties. People constantly expressed amazement that she was old enough to be married and even more that she could be the mother of a twelve year old daughter. His Angela was just beautiful. Every day at work, Homer yearned to get home to her. She filled his thoughts and she filled his dreams. Unfortunately, she did not fill his arms.
Homer had met Angela when he was working in South America. They had been virgins when they married; Angela because of very traditional, protective parents and convent education; Homer because Anglo girls in his small Southern high school just didn't find big brown boys with funny accents very attractive. In State University, even the few Latina women were more interested in the Black and WASP "jock" types, so he had been very frustrated. When Homer met Angela and she let him hold her hand on the very fourth date, he was in heaven. No other girl had ever let him take such liberties with her body. Within a month or two, Angela was letting him feel her titties. She was beautiful, intelligent and she had shown she really liked sex. What more could he want in a wife?
The problem seemed to start when they came back to the United States and had Cindy, bang-bang, almost as soon as they were married. Angela hadn't really planned to have a baby so soon; it just happened. Homer guessed she became frightened by her own fertility. Angela's mother had had thirteen children; Angela must have wanted to avoid anything like that. She was determined to finish her degree and to have a career. Cindy was a setback and she said they weren't going to have any more babies for a while.
Angela was one of those women who could not take the pill, so they had to use the rhythm method. (They tried using condoms a couple of times, but by the time Homer got the damn thing on, he'd lost his erection. This did not seem to upset Angela.) Unfortunately, Angela's period was pretty irregular. On average it was short, but occasionally she could go thirty or more days. Those of you who know about how the rhythm method works know that means they had a very narrow window of "safe" days each month.
After Cindy was born Angela decided that to reduce the risk, they would have to stop having sex so frequently. They hadn't been having sex that frequently, anyway. Homer took it badly. Sex was very important to him. He thought was the ultimate way of saying "I love you" to the most desirable woman in the world. Maybe it was difficult for Angela, too at first, but through some kind of internal discipline, she seemed to convince herself that she didn't really want sex that much. Once or twice a month seemed fine with her. Once or twice? Many times they were (Homer was) still eagerly awaiting the "safe" days when Angela's period showed up unexpectedly early and he had to start counting all over again.
The standard advice for couples using the rhythm method is to use "other means" to express love and affection during those days. Angela, however, was very conservative and reacted with disgust when Homer tried to pleasure her with his fingers or -- worse -- with his mouth on her pussy. He got them a copy of "The Joy of Sex" and once or twice after reading it Angela brought herself to place her lips on tip of his penis, but she just couldn't force herself to put it in her mouth. Thus, for most of each month they ended up not having sex of any kind.
Don't get the wrong impression, Homer was sure Angela did love him, but she began to think that love didn't need to include sex. They had much in common in addition to their daughter. Angela was a great cook and they enjoyed reading and listening to classical music together. She did all those sweet "wifely" things like straighten his tie, tell him when his socks didn't match, and keep an eye on his weight. Homer knew that if he looked a lot better than most guys his age, it was because of Angela. He didn't think she meant to be cruel in denying him sex; he suspected that she really did not understand just how much a man needs it.
Since she was intent on their not "doing it" most days, Angela became reluctant to let Homer be too "lovey-dovey." Over the years, she began to reject his kisses, took a dislike to being hugged or cuddled, and would seldom let him even touch her beautiful tits, which she was constantly complaining were "too big." "What's got into you, Homer?" she would protest if he forgot and tried to take her hand or slip his arm around her waist. She probably felt (maybe with some justification) that he was trying to seduce her. Perhaps she feared that if she allowed herself even a little sexual pleasure, she would loose control and go "all the way" and another trip to the maternity ward would be the result.
Homer was going crazy. He tried doing all those things that are supposed to make women melt. He sent her flowers, but she berated him for being silly or thanked him because they made "the house" look nice. He asked her to go out on romantic evenings for dinner, but she thought it was a waste of money. (Even then his company was starting to take off and there was always enough money for entertaining members of her family.) Angela didn't like to drink, so sharing a bottle of wine over a quiet dinner at home was out, too.
Homer had the idea of their taking dancing lessons together, but that was another disaster. Angela hated it and constantly criticized the other women there for wearing short skirts and heels (the things Homer has always wanted Angela to wear) to "show off their legs." He began to leave those women's magazines with articles on how to keep the "spark" in your marriage lying around. Angela wasn't buying. She was determined to make sure that no sparks led to no fires.
More and more Angela dressed to minimize her innate attractiveness, although she could never be unattractive to Homer. She would never wear high heels; deciding they hurt her feet. She wouldn't wear earrings; the clip ons pinched and she was allergic to the wires in the pierced kind, so she said. She preferred the triple protection of baggy slacks with pantyhose over panties. When Angela "had" to wear as skirt, it was always loose and a little longer than the fashion -- never with a slit and never above the knee. Homer tried buying her shorter, tighter skirts, but Angela wouldn't put them on. The sexy pajamas he got for her birthday or anniversary or Valentine's Day languished in the bottom of some drawer. Bangles, bracelets, and necklaces she found gaudy. Homer didn't even bother asking about an ankle chain or tattoo.
Homer had grown up as an only child and had always wanted lots of children. One, admittedly pretty perfect little girl, was not enough for him. Angela, however, just fawned over dozens of nieces and nephews and seemed content with Cindy. Homer, too, thought their nieces and nephews were cute, but cursed his fate that while all of Angela's sisters and sisters-in-law were having three and four kids for their husbands (one sister in law had eight!), Angela would give him only one. And not all those marriages were happy ones. Angela's sister Margarita, for example, was married to an alcoholic who beat her and Consuelo's husband spent all his money on his mistress with whom he had a child. Yet Margarita had had two boys and two girls for her man. Consuelo had given her cheating SOB three girls and a boy and was pregnant again. Even worse for Homer was putting up with Angela's relatives who wondered aloud why they didn't "go for a boy," as if he wouldn't be just as overjoyed to have four or five more little girls competing for their daddy's attention!
Little by little having more kids and the resentment that Angela refused to let him make her pregnant again got to be almost an obsession with Homer. Everywhere he went he noticed pregnant women, women nursing babies, women with a brood of kids. Whenever he saw an attractive woman with a man, Homer wondered how long it would be before the guy had her pregnant. He looked at balding, pudgy guys with three or four kids and ground his teeth. What had HE done to deserve this torture?
All this was mixed up with sex or the lack of it. At night Homer would lie awake next to his sexy wife, yearning to reach over and touch her and knowing it would only anger her. Outwardly he looked like the luckiest man alive -- a beautiful wife, his company doing better and better, a pretty, intelligent daughter -- but he wanted more sex and more kids. Life seemed so unfair.
Why didn't Homer have an affair, you ask? I told you already; he loved Angela. He wanted her, not another woman. He wanted Angela to be the mother of his children; look at their success with Cindy. For the same reason he never seriously considered divorce.
At last he decided to have a serious talk with Angela. Luckily, Cindy was at a friend's house on that Friday night and they could be alone. It wasn't easy, but he told Angela about his feelings, how he loved her, but how he needed for their love to be physical, too. He admitted he wished she would dress more like the sexy woman she was. And finally, could they never have another baby?
Angela exploded. "So, that's all you want! To dress me like a whore and fuck me 'till I'm pregnant!
"No, of course not, Honey Maybe I said it wrong. I meant ..." Homer collapsed in tears. He couldn't believe what he was hearing from his wife. Seeing him cry only riled her more. In the heat of anger she said that she didn't love him, that he had never satisfied her sexually and never would!
That's when Homer got mad. *He* -- who had suffered blue balls 360+ days of each of the thirteen years they had been married because *she* refused to have sex, -- had not satisfied *her!* Did she think sex was a spectator sport in which the man "performed" to please his woman? Homer knew Angela had never had an orgasm, but was that just his fault? She never allowed herself to try!
Homer knew he needed help but who? A woman, of course, a good Catholic like Angela, someone intelligent that Angela would respect, but most important, a woman with a sense of humor who loved sex. It didn't take long to light upon the ideal woman. He thought of the woman who once said that one of his stories was "disgusting," but that she had laughed her head off and then "done the dirty" with her happy husband. -- Celeste.
Homer decided to track Celeste down. It wasn't as hard as you think. Have you ever heard of "iso-logues"? They are lines linguists can draw on detailed maps marking the way that people in different regions of the country use words. For example in some places people say "nobody" in others, "no one." Generally, linguists can demarcate exactly where more people use one and where the other. That is but a very obvious example, but these maps are far more subtle. Word frequency, word placement, grammar, syntax, all can be analyzed and, in Celeste's case, they were.
Homer put his company's programmers on it. Every sentence Celeste had ever written in over three hundred Celestial Reviews went into a huge database. Of course Celeste had told everyone some things about herself that were plausible -- married with daughters, Catholic, English teacher in a high school.
Homer's linguistic map located her to the western half of a certain rural county in a medium size state. His private investigators found there was only one sexy English teacher in the local high school. Guess what; she was Catholic, married, and had two daughters. Bingo! Homer had Celeste!
Celeste didn't reply to his first e-mail. He didn't expect her to. Then he mentioned the name of her husband and her oldest daughter's best friend and hinted he would expose her. "What do you want?" Celeste finally wrote back.
Homer knew what she thought -- that like millions of other ASSM readers, he fantasized about shagging the sexy English teacher. But Homer was in love with Angela. He told Celeste to meet him in the bar of a large hotel in a medium size city near her home. He was reasonable about allowing her to find a time that would not arouse suspicion in her husband, but Celeste was very apprehensive, suspecting the worst.
Homer had told her how to recognize him, a tall brown man with a mustache and a red cravat. He had the pictures his private investigators had obtained. They didn't do Celeste justice. He spotted her the instant she walked in -- long straight brown hair. slim but with large breasts and the roundness of a woman who had borne children. She wore a business suit cut just a little bit provocatively, heels, large earrings. Celeste had read his stories and had decided to dress to please him.
"How did you find me?" she asked, upset, but not able to restrain her curiosity. "I though my system with AOL was foolproof. I'm going to sue the bastards!"
"You'd better not or I won't be the only one who knows who you really are. Besides, that's not how I found you." Homer explained how innocent information, a few lucky guesses and the linguistic maps had uncovered her identity. Celeste had been drinking heavily as he explained her undoing. As he spoke, she realized she was trapped. The combination of the liquor and the despair was fatal. She broke down in tears.
"Oh God! No, no" she sobbed. "You are going to blackmail me and I'll have to do anything you say. I know what's going to happen now. You must be able to see how wet I am." Celeste was becoming hysterical "You're going to take me to your hotel room to fuck me senseless in front of video cameras. In the elevator you will reach up under my skirt and discover I'm not wearing panties. You're going to finger me to an orgasm that will leave me incoherent."
"Celeste," Homer tried to break in
"I can't believe this is happening to me. I was a virgin when I married. I've always been faithful to my husband," she wailed. "Why is my body betraying me like this, at the worst possible time of month when I'm ovulating?. Oh! It's your magnificent cock; it mesmerizes me. You are going to lay me back and eat my pussy until I am so hot I can't make you use a condom."
"Celeste, Celeste! You have been reading too many slutwife stories," he tried again without success.
"You'll have me in an overpowering rut. I'll spread my legs for you and beg you to make me pregnant, plead with you to put a little brown bastard in my white womb that I can never explain my husband. I'll scream for you to place your cock at the opening of my dripping fuck hole and to slowly split ..."
"Celeste, stop it! Stop it!" He shook her a little. "This story is a (Cons. Rom.)." Celeste opened her eyes in confusion as her fantasy dissolved. Her breathing began to become more regular. "And even if it weren't," Homer grinned, "Whatever I was slowly going to split, Celeste, it sure wouldn't be your infinitive!"
The implication of his words hit her like a tank. Celeste collapsed in mortification. Realizing that in the heat of passion, she, ASSM's Goddess of Linguistic Purity, had committed a grammatical error, devastated the poor woman. Knowing now she would be putty in his hands, Homer told Celeste his story.
"So all you have to do is make Angela into a sexy, cockloving woman like you," he concluded.
Of course Celeste tried to say she couldn't do it, that she was just an English teacher not a psychologist, but Homer knew she had done counseling and insisted she try. It was that or the PTA of ____burg would have some very interesting new gossip about one of its English teachers. Celeste agreed.
Money was no object. Homer set Celeste up as a language coach in a house in his city during her school vacation. Angela's pronunciation really did need some polishing, so it fit. Homer didn't know just how Celeste turned their practicing of vowel sounds and syntax into "girl talk," but since sex is never very far from Celeste's mind, he guessed it wasn't too hard.
Celeste was astounded at Angela's attitude and soon found herself genuinely interested in trying to help the benighted woman. "You don't know what you're missing, honey" Celeste told her, grinning.
"You mean that you just let your husband *do it* all the time?" Angela asked incredulously.
"At least every day, babe, more if I can on weekends."
"But you already have three children and you said you don't want any more. Why don't you make him stop?
"Because I love my husband and I love getting fucked," Celeste replied.
"But Homer wants to do those - *things*," Angelica explained, shivering with disgust"