She's a busy sort, utilizing the finite minutes of each day, always directed, the day's agenda planned at the office in the morning, or sometimes the previous evening, with me aware of it when I see that distracted look in her eyes. Sometimes I think this relationship is ridiculous, too many places where the quilts don't match. But it goes on. Three years now, and since a dyke marriage is said to be usually good for two years and no more, the mere fact that we're in our third year should be a testament to something. Of course Sarah would not agree, she's much too rational for the fairy tales of dyke dramas, we're together and that's it and every relationship is a unique entity not really related to other entities, one year, two years, three years, or thirty years. (The idea of loving the same woman thirty years frightens me; I'm not supposed to be frightened, but I'm frightened anyway.)
On the wall opposite the foot of the bed are two framed drawings. One is a reproduction of a drawing of a bare-breasted odalisque by Matisse. An open window and a woman with round breasts. Sarah has no breasts. I'm the one with the breasts, the big ass, the primeval mother-shape. Sarah looks almost scrawny, narrow hips, compact little bottom, a spectacle of leanness. Her legs, however, are wonderful, long and graceful and extremely sexy. She had a youthful yearning to be a dancer, but it never happened, another lost dream, and who knows the wrangling people do with their lost dreams? Don't think about your lost dreams, think about your dreams of tomorrow.
So we shall let the lost dreams rest in peace. Instead of dancing her way to fame and glory, Sarah obsessed her way through Yale Law School and an early partnership in a prestigious law firm. Who is to say that dead dreams are not better dead? I can't imagine her as a dancer, since despite her leanness she's more an amazon than a dryad. The legs are elegant, but she has square shoulders and strong arms. At our first meeting I told Sarah she had a startling resemblance to a photo I'd seen of Natalie Barney, but of course Sarah had no knowledge then of Natalie Barney and she thought it was merely a line put out by a dinky femme in high heels attempting to charm her.
Not too far on the wall from the Matisse is another drawing, this one with a blatant sexuality, which is why it hangs there, since when we first discovered the drawing in a large rotting book of erotic drawings in a flea market, Sarah looked at me and I looked at her and our eyes said we must have this because this is the way we fuck and the style is charming and we most certainly must have it.
We paid exactly ten dollars for the book, cut out the drawing and tossed the rest of the book into the trash because it had a nasty smell to it and we were a bit wary of it. However, the drawing had no scent, and we framed it and put it on the wall opposite the foot of the bed.
The drawing shows two women in a horizontal clinch, a classic soixante-neuf with one woman on her back and the other woman head to feet and crouched over her. Why the drawing hangs there on the wall is simple: the woman on the bottom is the one with the rounded curves and the woman on the top is as lean as a rail, and that is the way we are and that is the way we fuck.
The woman on her back is wearing white stockings and high-heeled shoes with a single strap across the instep and she has one leg in the air as though she's waving that leg as an expression of pleasure. Maybe so. The woman on top is on all fours, crouched over her partner, her head lowered and her face hidden between her lover's thighs. The woman on bottom has her arms wrapped around the upper woman's waist, a bracelet falling back on her left forearm, her face completely covered by the other woman's ass and thighs. The drawing is rather baroque, the background consisting of an elaborate wallpaper showing repetitive vertical stripes and curlicues, the sort of wallpaper popular in the 1920s, the expanse of wallpaper broken by a large round mirror painted a dense black and showing nothing at all.
We like to play CDs while we're doing it, not music but people talking, dramatic recitations, Siobhan McKenna reading the Molly soliloquy. even the dry voice of T.S. Eliot blathering about his women coming and going, a patient lying etherized on a table while Sarah firmly rocks her ass back and forth on my face. She takes a long time for the little death to arrive, which is quite fine since I enjoy lying there with my face in a parallel world. I like the darkness, I like the scent, I especially adore the hot wetness that bathes my face when Sarah is enthusiastic. You would not think a lean body like that could be so tropical, but when it happens it's a treat and I find myself lost in the sucking.
Natalie Barney passed ninety-six years on this planet, with her last seventy years spent in Paris, where she lived since 1902. The word "spent" is appropriate, since Natalie made a serious attempt to fuck every interesting woman she encountered, and as a rich woman hosting a popular literary and artistic salon in Paris, she encountered many available women, an unending series of female poets, playwrights, novelists, painters, and dancers who succumbed to Natalie's seductive wiles.
The second time I told Sarah she reminded me of Natalie Barney, she laughed and said I was fooling, and who the hell was Natalie Barney anyway? This was after we'd made love a few times, nothing extraordinary, satisfying but not extraordinary. So I told Sarah the story of Natalie Barney and the collection of dykes that wandered in a continuing stream in and out of her salon.
That's why it pays to be rich, Sarah said.
That's not the point.
It isn't? All right, then what's the point.
The point is she must have had something, a certain allure.
Yes, allure. And so do you, and that's one reason why you remind me of Natalie Barney.
And what's the other reason?
You do look like her.
I'm not lying, it's the truth.
All right, I look like Natalie Barney.
And you have her allure.
And I have her allure. And what would you like to do with this Natalie Barney reincarnation right now?
I'd like you to sit on my face.
A soft hiss came out between Sarah's teeth, then a sigh and a quiet little laugh. Yes, I think I'd like that, she said.
And that was how Sarah and I found out how we like to fuck.
Thank you, Natalie Barney.