The first time May Linh and Lily took off with the car, to go to town, 35 miles away, I was taken aback. They both had signed old Mr. Me’s contract stipulating that they would live with me in the nude in my secluded house by the ocean in this southeastern Asian country but there were no working hours per se in the contract.
For Christ sake, I didn’t know if Lily was even able to drive really but off they went. I was worried for some reasons that something may have happen to them. And, as the day went by and then night fell and then it started getting very late, I became more and more distraught, and a bit angry at them for putting me through this. So I had been drinking beer and smoking, including French joints, all day long while waiting for them, unable to do anything else.
It was past 10 pm when I heard them come in. I resisted the urge to bitch and tried to remain calm on the front porch, waiting. I could hear in their voice that they were excited. Then I heard May Linh calling on me from inside.
“Mr. You, did you eat anything?”
I guess she knew the answer because she asked already if I wanted to eat with them. I said yes.
“Ok,” she said. “Do you need more beer?” she asked.
“Yes, thanks,” I said.
“No problem,” May Linh said.
The first one to show up on the porch was Lily and she had taken her clothes off and taken a quick shower and she was nude, hairlessly nude save for her long black hair. And Lily was obviously in a good mood, happy with herself with a big smile on her face. She wore no more make up, and she was bringing drinks, beer for me and white wine for them, with ice cubes.
“Hello Mr. You, did you have a good day?” Lily asked me.
“Yes,” I said, lying.
“So you missed us, didn’t you?”
She was right of course so there was no point for me to answer that question.
“Well, I loved driving your car,” Lily said, “it was great.”
Then she sat there and we remained silent. I was catching glances at her and she had nothing to hide and didn’t mind my ogling. I wondered how I would do now if I were to live without nude women around me anymore. Scratch that. What I was really wondering was how I would do now if I were to live without May Linh and Lily around me anymore?
I didn’t want to ask Lily what they did all day because it was none of my business. I was not her father, nor her brother, her husband, her boyfriend, her pimp or whatever, just a roommate of sort, so she could do as well as she damn pleased.
At that point, she didn’t seem to be wanting to volunteer that information to me so we both just waited for May Linh, whom I figured was preparing a quick dinner for us all.
Indeed she came few minutes later – she too had taken all of her clothes off and a shower – and we sat at the tall table on the porch for a small dinner. I was filling my eyes again with their nudity, trying to take it all at once, as if I had never seen it. My god, just looking at their naked bodies could fill MY days! Then I realized that May Linh probably wouldn’t volunteer anything either. So I finally asked:
“Did you have a good day in town?”
I figured they probably did some shopping, Lily looking for more Chicago Bulls caps for example.
But, the moment I asked, they both cracked up laughing, they exploded laughing rather, and they were laughing so hard trying to answer me and chuckling “oh yes yes” and every time they’d look at each other they would start laughing again, almost crying for it and they couldn’t stop and it was weird because they both had a hand on their mouth and the other hand on their crotch as if they were afraid they’d pee on themselves so much they were laughing.
It could tell it was sincere laughter and that they didn’t want to hurt me but, after a few minutes of this, I was sort of getting tired to be feeling like an imbecile. Finally, in between two hiccups, Lily said: “You should have seen us, we went all over town,” and bam, they were cracking up again and this time May Link got up and ran to the toilet. That’s what they needed I guess because their laughing crisis receded from that point on and we could talk again. So when May Linh was back, Lily explained.
“We were looking for something and we had to go all over town to find it and we didn’t know the ways and we got lost so many times and we had a lot of fun and, yes, we had a great day and thank you again for letting us use the car.”
She was chortling.
“One time, we were lost and you should have seen this guy who wanted to help us…”
And bam, they cracked up again. Christ! Just thinking about it and they were laughing so hard they had tears in their eyes.
Still, I was puzzled: what could it be that they needed so badly, first to drive to town and then to search for it all day all over the place. But I understood they didn’t want to tell me more so I shut up, finished my dinner and had a cigarette. May Linh and Lily cleaned the table up, then Lily brought me a cold beer on the terrace and then, to my surprise, she went to sit next to May Linh on her piano stool! What? That was the first time I was seeing them like that. It never occurred to me that May Linh could share her piano stool with anyone.
Then I knew, better yet I heard, what they went looking so hard for: partitions, music sheets.
Then I heard May Linh play a few notes.
She was hesitating but I recognized the tune right away. New Orleans Ragtime, The Sting, Scott Joplin, The Entertainer! Christ! I had never heard May Linh play anything but classical music and now this.
Looking at both their nude backs and long hair, sitting on the piano stool, I was stunned by it all.
It took a little while for May Linh to get the hang of it – it was so far from her formal training I guess – and Lily was giving the beat snapping her fingers. After few tries though, and they were laughing again, May Linh got it. Reading music sheets, she knew how.
And, all of a sudden, there was this Scott Joplin’s concert coming out of nowhere with May Linh having a lot of fun, first playing The Entertainer over and over until she could interpret it pretty good in a lot of different ways and giving it her own feelings. It was totally incredible and unexpected. Then she went on to discover other scores from Scott Joplin.
May Linh was playing with exhilaration and she was smiling and for once she wasn’t so stiff on her stool and her fingers were running all over the keys and even the piano was surprised and even the piano liked it and Lily was now dancing and I was listening and looking at them and at one point I was overwhelmed by too many sensations and emotions so I went to the kitchen to get drinks and a breather.
When I came back, it was real, still, I wasn’t dreaming. New Orleans Ragtime sounded so good flying away to the sky and the stars and May Linh and Lily were nude and May Linh was playing piano and I was dancing with Lily and holding her nude and warm body against mine and I could smell her fragrance and I could let my fingers say hi and she’d say hi to them.
This was magic! The place was enchanted. Better yet, the whole place was bewitched because I thought for a moment that the bugs in the jungle were enjoying the ragtime and adding a clarinet. Lily is a Jedi, or an alien. Or both. Something! I’m sure.
“So how do you like it Mr. You?”
Lily was talking to me with an ironic smile, looking at me with her so pale weird eyes.
“You don’t regret letting us use the car now, do you?” she asked.
I almost stepped on her foot.
“But Scott Joplin?” I asked.
“You always talk about New Orleans so we thought you’d like that,” Lily said.
Jesus! Old Mr. Me had spent an entire day worrying like an idiot, almost getting angry and scared, while they were out there doing something for me! Again, I felt a bit of shame because my reaction was so egotistic and so untrusting. What is wrong with me? These were the best women in the world and I was so lucky I had a chance to be with the two of them, I should be kissing their feet and licking their toes…
Well, it reassured me to think that they didn’t do all of this just for me. I understood that it was probably Lily who had this idea and that she knew May Linh would like Scott Joplin and that it would unstiffen May Linh a little bit and then they had to find the score sheets. So Lily did all of this for us, May Linh and I, not just for me. And I’m sure Lily did it a bit for herself as well. In any case, she seemed to have quite enjoyed the driving part. And she could drive I guess…
The concert must have lasted maybe an hour, an hour and a half maybe, but it was one of the most wonderful hour I had ever lived in my life because I could see May Linh and Lily’s joy and they were nude and beautiful and everything was cool and I could look at them as much as I wanted and Scott Joplin was taking us past the porch, past the gulf of Thailand, overseas to New Orleans where hurricanes live, just like here typhoons.
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