Old Mr. Me couldn’t help but be worried about his good luck. Like Lou Reed said once, men of poor beginnings often can’t do anything. But I got lucky with aliens and ended up in this house by the beach, in this always warm southeastern Asian country, surrounded by three beautiful, to my eyes at least, Asian women living, by contract, in the nude with me.
See, in the occidental white world, and beyond I guess, marriage is full of ambiguity, what with love and sex and money, nothing is stated clearly and frustrations abound, with dialogs like this:
“Well if you’re not working, it can only mean that I’M paying the rent!”
“But aren’t we married?”
“Yes that’s the problem.”
“Well, if you’re going to talk with that tone to me, you can forget sex.”
And, a week later, the guy is up to his neck with rancid sperm and now he really gets mad and that means even less chances to get lucky and he gets madder, and she gets madder, etc. If there are kids, they can hear the screaming.
Nudity is the same. Because you work hard and you’re now doing better and paying the rent, now your wife has her own bathroom and all of a sudden you can’t look at her taking a shower anymore and that’s now a thing of the past and she’s now wearing pajamas AND underwear. Then that’s pretty much it and any guy should be happy she doesn’t ask next for the kids to have their own toilets, and for the dogs and cats too. And if you have a mortgage on that house, you’re screwed, in every way but the sexual one. Then women wonder why men go berserk?
For Christ sake, look at history, evolution. Only the Bonobos succeeded. The first Bonobo male that wants to be dominant for a minute and wishes to be a chief because he has crazy ideas coming through his mind, well, at that very moment, a female of his group, any female, and sometimes more than one when needed too, will come and fuck the shit out of this would be asshole and calm him down immediately. And it works: no war, best social manners in the world, both males and females equals.
Anything is bothering you? A good and quick screwing party and the sun is shining again. Better yet, Bonobos is the only monkey species, including human beings, that doesn’t kill their babies or infants. Almost all mammals have a way to sometimes kill their offspring, whether to promote their own genes or whatever, and, again, that includes the human species. Nowadays, humans put the babies in freezers, like the Inuit of lore in a way. Well, the Bonobos is the only monkey race that doesn’t kill anyone, not even their own babies.
Now try so send an army of guys stark naked to conquer another army of guys, stark naked too, and you’re done with war. Before something or someone came to fuck with Adam and Eve, and made them ashamed to be nude, ever heard of a war or any criminal activity in paradise? No, no one ever heard of war before nude Adam and Eve were messed with. Then they had to get dressed, you know the rest.
Ever since, there have been non-stop assholes telling you how “really (menacing tone)” you should get some clothes on, and next, they say that now this and this too you “shouldn’t(menacing tone)” do anymore either. Like they say in France, the cloth makes the monk! Nowadays, people can’t seem to put enough clothes on. Look at these women in Bullshitistan! And more and more, everywhere, the return of M O R A L S. And inquisition is again right around the corner. Fuck! Look at today’s soldiers, covered from head to toe. You can’t even see their face and tomorrow clones and drones will be fighting clones and drones and three thirds of the planet will be dying of hunger and of lack of breathable air.
Then again, there are plenty of women, sexy and free and lively and they would chose an idiot for a husband because he makes a bit of money and drive a nice car. If there’s so much shit in the world, it’s also because the pettiness and cowardice and egotism is equally shared between men and women.
I mean, ok you’re walking in a busy street in Paris, Chicago, New Orleans, Shanghai, Mexico, anywhere, look around, and you’ll see hundreds, thousands of women, tall ones, petites, good looking, ugly, old, young, and all of them, ALL and every single one of them, barring a tiny percentage, have been fucking already. None is a virgin, none – other than girls and teens.
The opposite is not true. Now, in that same crowd, look at all the guys, not all of them had a chance to get lucky and that’s a fact. But it’s fair to say that most of them are no virgin either.
Which means that this planet’s entire population is having sex, routinely, dozens of times. And everybody knows about it, more or less according to each person’s talent or lack thereof. So, tell me again, what’s the problem with sex exactly? Yet, sex is most often everywhere a taboo, if not the first one. And it drives the world mad. What happened to the Bonobo in us? Christ, humanity is despairing.
Anyway, that’s why I was still finding it astonishing that I could be living with three beautiful, to my eyes, Asian women, nude from head to toe, from morning till dusk and beyond, and we never had a fight, there was no bickering, no pouting, no ‘I won’t talk to you asshole’ type of scene, no argument whatsoever, except the one with Maggie but that was the exception that confirms the rule.
All that to say that I thought the contract had a lot to do with it and I was kind of happy with my contract, especially so that May Linh and Lily and Maggie did seem happy as well with the situation as it stood. So I thought this was fair and I kept ogling at their nude body without any shame anymore.
Because Maggie was leaving soon, there was yet a feeling of urgency though, and we all felt it. Although she still played her classical music in the afternoons, May Linh would now play her piano also in the evening, and her music, as night fell, was very jazzy and bluesy and lively and we’d dance and it was so nice. Or we’d just stand silent, Lily, Maggie and I, and just listen to May Linh’s play and it was so beautiful and there were so many emotions and, in our secluded and remote home, we could all feel the power of May Linh’s music and the notes were escaping from the house, to the ocean, to the big sky and even the bugs in the jungle seemed to listen.
The last evening, the day before our departure to the capital to get Maggie’s visa to France and drop her off at the airport, as we were in the big room talking and listening to May Linh, I suddenly had an idea. I don’t know what made me think of it but I told everyone that I knew a song. Now that I had their attention, somehow, I had to go ahead.
“Look, it goes like this,” I said and I sang this old army song:
“100 bottles of beer on a wall, 100 bottles of beer,
take one down, pass it around,
99 bottles of beer on a wall. 99 bottles of beer on a wall,
take one down, pass it around, 98 bottles of beer on a wall.”
They looked at me with big eyes but May Linh picked up the tune on the piano and then she sang: “97 bottles of wine on the wall, 97 bottles of beer, take one down, pass it around, 96 bottles of wine on the wall.”
And we were all so surprised. May Linh didn’t speak very much and she played the piano beautifully but we had never heard her sing, I don’t know why but there, as she got carried away, she had a beautiful voice and the ocean is my witness, I would have drunk all 96 of her bottles of wine.
And then Lily picked it up. And she started singing. “96 bottles of beer on the wall, 96 bottles of beer” and it was very nice to hear her singing too, and I was flabbergasted and they were nude but they were truthful and they understood the song and then Maggie caught up “95 bloody Maries on the wall, 95 bloody Maries, take one down…”
Christ, we were hysterical with laughter and then it was my turn again and I sang aloud “94 bottles of beer on the wall, 94 bottles of beer…” At least I was back to beer and all three of them cracked up and they were laughing so hard I could hardly finish my phrase.
Then May Linh continued with her piano and started to sing again “93 bottles of wine on the wall, 93 bottle of wine” and, from there, we all went nuts, alcohol and French joints helping I guess, and we sang and sang and sang together and May Linh’s piano was giving the tempo and we danced and Maggie and Lily were shaking their booties and May Linh was having a ball on her piano and she was now playing a ragtime and singing “69 bottles of liquor…” 69!!! And we all laughed and cried and laughed again and we hugged and I could feel their skin and nude sweaty bodies. I just loved them so much, all three of them, and at that instant, I don’t remember how many bottles of beer we had taken down that wall but I had the feeling that, beyond the contract, May Linh, Lily and even Maggie kind of loved me too, some, a little bit maybe.
For a second I was lost in those thoughts, and I could hear the piano and May Linh and Lily and Maggie singing, when I noticed that the jungle was silent. So I paid attention and, indeed, I couldn’t hear the bugs’ ruckus. I was just about to forget about it when BAM, three goons, Chinese I knew right away, crashed the back porch’s door and erupted in the house.
Once they showed up, there was a long moment of utter astonishment on their face as they saw us, old Mr. Me with three naked women having a drink around a piano and singing and dancing. So the three thugs were suddenly immobile for a second, totally flabbergasted. We were just as dumbstruck as they were but I saw fear in Maggie’s eyes, real fear.
Then I saw Jacky Chan, the one that seemed to be the boss, look over the women real quick and he thought for a moment they had come to the wrong place because he didn’t recognized Maggie. Indeed Maggie was tanned all the way through, with no make up on and Lily had cut her hair and Maggie was strong and she was totally nude so this imbecile didn’t recognize her at first. But then he did, and then he started to scream in Chinese, in Cantonese I guess.
And then, very quickly, before we could react, Jacky Chan grabbed Maggie by the hair and slapped her across the face, hard, eructing in goddamn Cantonese. “What the fuck,” I said and I started toward Maggie but old Mr. Me hadn’t made a step when I caught Jacky Chan’s foot right into my chest; I didn’t see it coming and it cut me in two. Before I could realize anything, Jacky Chan’s foot came back to the side of my head and I went flying. I couldn’t breathe and the pain had jutted to my brain as if someone had hammered an ice pick in it while my lungs were trying to burst out of my eyes. But, as I flew, I did see the other goons dragging Maggie off and she was screaming and beaten and all I could hear were her screams and these goons yacking in Chinese.
I fell among the chairs and my head hit the floor and it went ‘thunk’. I felt May Linh and Lily hands about me and then I heard more Chinese yacking and then I heard Maggie scream ‘NO’ and it sounded terrible and I didn’t know what was happening because I was trying to breathe but I could still hear the terror in Maggie’s ‘No’, in English, and then I smelled it. Gasoline. They were pouring Gasoline over the house. Then I heard more Chinese speaking and then I heard the whouff of the fire and I almost instantly felt the heat of it.
I was trying not to pass out and I was worried for Maggie and I heard her terrible scream one last time and I felt myself being pulled out and I felt being dragged down the front porch’s stairs feeling my feet going bang bang bang on the stairs, quickly, and it hurt my heels and then I felt the cool sand. In my last bit of consciousness, I knew they were burning my house down! The money I thought! Then, immediately, I thought: May Linh’s piano! Christ almighty, these fucking assholes, they’re burning May Linh’s piano. Then I thought, Christ, they’re burning Maggie.
Then I went to black.
Iconography: Abstract by Ellar Wise