It occurred to old Mr. Me that all three women who had agreed to my contract to be living naked with me in my house by the beach in this warm southeastern Asian country were childless. May Linh couldn’t have kids and that was part of her demise in her former life; Lily was still young and she had ambitions and she had been very careful, in spite of her former job, and even now, not to have kids. Lily will have kids one day, maybe, but only when she’ll want to. But Maggie, at her age?
Anyway, the part of the contract Maggie and I hadn’t resolved yet was the one referring to fondling. In fact, I had hardly touched Maggie since she arrived, about two weeks ago, other than during Lily’s massage. And there was some shyness from my side I knew. Maggie was no villager like May Linh and Lily and, like she had explained, in any other circumstance, old Mr. Me would have had a tough luck just to get close to her, other than maybe sharing a drink at a party.
Well, the fondling was resolved the first night Maggie and I were alone at home, May Linh and Lily being gone for a week. Maggie was tipsy with all the bloody Maries she had been drinking. Seeing her drinking so much, it crossed my mind that she was maybe readying herself for this, the fondling part of the contract, thinking too that it could come that night. In any case, I’m sure the French joints helped her also to go past her inhibitions. It sure helped me to find the courage.
It was late at night and we had been sitting on the porch, drinking, looking at the ocean and the big sky, not talking much. Then the ruckus is the jungle marked a pause and, for a few minutes, it was as if we could hear each other breathing. It was like a signal. I went to take a leak outside and it felt good to walk a little bit on the beach. When I came back I could tell Maggie was in the washroom. She was brushing her teeth, looking at herself in the mirror, her butt shaking in rhythm. I relished the moment, watching her hiding nothing. For her age she had a very graceful and well proportion silhouette and she was so nude and you could tell she never had kids.
Our eyes crossed in the mirror and there was laughter in hers and I swear she shook that booty just a bit more. Christ, I could have stood there forever, watching her nudity, but I went to drink some water in the kitchen. When I came back to my big Swedish bathroom to wash my teeth and my hands, Maggie was gone and in bed I presumed. She was.
I slid under the sheet in my usual place. She was already in her usual place, turned sideways on her left. Now I remembered how big that bed was! We were by now used to sleep the four of us in that bed, with me on the right side of the bed, with May Ling on my left, then Maggie, then Lily. So as I went to bed, it felt like Maggie was on another continent.
So I swam across that sea, saw she was now lying on her stomach, and I loved my old bones against her warm and soft body, soft because she had been here only a couple of weeks and she couldn’t be yet as strong as May Linh and Lily had become, and old Mr. Me too, somewhat. I thought about a Tarzan joke but shut up. “Meet King Kong” I told Hong Kong Maggie as I put my hand on her back and she could tell I was joking. She smiled I sensed, although I couldn’t see her face. So I started to caress her back, then the small of her back, then her buttocks.
In the dark, she let me know with subtle waves of her body that she was ready and, I guess, I was also. And this first time turned out to be sweet and very nice, old Mr. Me having yet discovered another way to gamahuche. I thus realized that, although my main fondling desire was expressed the exact same way toward May Linh, Lily and Maggie, there were now as many different ways to go about that fondling stuff as there were women. So, really, it is interesting to note that the women are the one being creative because, at the end, with each one of them, did we have our own way of gamahuching and that wasn’t me. In short, three women, three very different ways to gamahuche.
Anyway, it was very nice with Maggie as she slid and spread over me, and started to suck my cock and I had her ass right up my face and she abandoned it to my fingers and did I like that… I felt her contractions as I ejaculated. We stayed immobile a little while like that and I was starting to find her heavy on my chest when she got up and went to the bathroom. When she came back we loved our two bodies together and we went to sleep in her place of the bed. We must have slept well because, when we got up the next day, the position of the sun told us it was way past noon. We went to swim together and, feeling confident now, I showed her the ocean gamahuche and she understood and she laughed and we rested a long time on a platform, basking in the sun.
These few days together, old Mr. Me and Maggie found common interests for conversation. Architecture for example. Maggie had noticed how well-crafted was this strange shotgun house and she mentioned it to me one day. “Yes,” I agreed and I told her about the building crew who rehabbed it, and rebuilt the guest-house after the typhoon, and I told her how was the house when I bought it and I told her about the dumb Dutch diplomat who owned it and she was laughing.
So I gave her a construction tour of the house and I showed her how smart was the recess under the back porch for storage – the occasion to show her how to work the generator when electricity goes out – and that’s how we came to talk about architecture.
So that day she asked me:
“Do you know the Hong Kong Design institute building?”
“No, I don’t,” I answered.
“It’s an interesting building, in Tiu Keng Leng,” she said. “Do you know Hong Kong?”
“No,” I said.
“Well it’s in the Sai Kung district, overlooking Junk Bay. Anyway, this building, the Design Institute, was built by two young French architects, Thomas Coldefy and Isabel something, he’s French, she’s from Belgium. I remember their names because I was at the inauguration and the opening party and I didn’t care too much for all the hoopla but I liked their building and I kind of like them, two very young French architects, two fish in a bowl of sharks but they had pulled it off and built, right here in town, a Hong Kong institute. I went to speak with them that evening and it was very interesting. In fact, I had an apartment not far from there, on a high floor overlooking the whole of Junk Bay and the isles and I kind of liked that French building down there.”
What she was saying did ring a bell and I remembered now. I had read articles about these two young French architects, from Lille in Northern France, building something in Hong Kong and I remembered their story; it’s not that common for young architects anywhere in the world to construct a building of that size, especially in Hong Kong I guess, especially when you just turned 30! And I could now remember the pictures of this building and I knew what Maggie was talking about. I liked architecture too so that led to interesting conversations with Maggie, and talks about places we had been to or not.
One evening, and it was already kind of late, maybe 10pm already, we were on the porch when I told her I was going to the Lemon Tree. I asked her if she wanted to come with me. Again, she said no, not wanting to leave the house, which I had anticipated but still, this adamant will of hers not to go out at all was beginning to bug me. And maybe would I have been happy to go with her, if only just to freak Carter out.
“What’s happening there?” she asked.
“A game,” I said.
“A game?” She didn’t expect that one. “What kind of game?”
“A rugby game, France vs Australia. And those are good games and Carter is Australian and I’m French so we’re sure going to watch that game and loser pays for all the drinks. Why don’t you come?”
“Rugby uh!… No, thanks, I’ll stay here.”
“Have a good time,” she yelled from the porch as I was leaving.
Yeah, I had a good time. The game was played in France so it didn’t start until 3am here. When I arrived at the resort, there were still a lot of people at the Lemon Tree and I sat at the bar, like usual, and drunk beer and watched Carter work. At 2am, most of the people were gone but for a few guys still at the bar and two couples from Christchurch, New Zealand, who were going to watch the game with us. They even had their All Blacks jerseys on. Christ, New Zealanders go in vacation somewhere across the world and they take their All Blacks’ jerseys with them. I didn’t have a French jersey and Carter didn’t have a Wallaby jersey. Whatever. Then Carter took his special brew out.
It was a good game, a tough game and the French would take a lead and those goddamn Aussies would catch up. At half-time, Australia was trailing by 3 but Carter was confident. Then the two New Zealander wives went to sleep and there were just us four guys left in a hole somewhere on this lonely planet, in the middle of the night, drinking beer – Australian beer I knew – and we were all excited about the game. The game was tight all the way through and the end was excruciating. The French won, by three point only: 29-26. The New Zealanders teased Carter and I strutted a victory celebration. So Carter paid more beers and chasers and, by the time I finally left, we were really drunk. It was daylight, the first tourists were already having breakfast at the Lemon Tree and the morning crew had taken over.
I was glad to have taken the Vespa to come because the ride back, in the early morning like that, sort of sobered me up. Anyway I got home unscathed. Maggie was sleeping and I slid under the sheet in my usual place and finally crashed.
Iconography: Abstract by Ellar Wise