Sometimes, life seems to accelerate on its own devolution. When I bought this shotgun house by the beach in this warm Southeastern Asian country, old Mr. Me thought that this was the place where I could stretch time, where even the notion of time would disappear. In fact, that was suggested in the contract (article 1) I had written for the women who would be living nude with me.
Well, during the first four weeks with May Linh, indeed time itself seemed to become hazy. But when young Lily showed up, she brought enough energy to reanimate a languishing army. Well, at least enough to reanimate me. I had to give it to her: yesterday, her massage had resuscitated all that was dead in me. And that was totally unexpected. And life seemed to be speeding away again although the next day started like usual in the sense that I woke up alone in bed and could smell the coffee.
I soon saw from the porch that they were both busy in the garden. I could tell all the work that had been done in just three days, since May Linh came back with Lily. The sun was shining, the ocean was calm and I had a very good swim, far out at sea, as if Lily’s massage, yesterday, had also untighten my muscles and swimming felt easy and smooth. For a second I was so exhilarated I felt like Tarzan.
When I turned around, I saw way back there my house, a small dot at the edge of the jungle, and farther away the village and then, even farther, Carter’s resort. Maybe this was the farthest I had ever swam. Under the water, I would see some fish and for once I didn’t envy them. I got in a very good rhythm coming back and I wasn’t thinking and it was peaceful.
They were waiting for me on the sandbar and May Linh grabbed me and threw her legs around my waist as soon as I got there and I was ready for a quick gamahuche when Lily jumped on us and threw her legs around us as well. I tried to hold both of them for a second and we were laughing and I fell still trying to hang on to them. Under the water we were looking into each other’s goggled eyes and we were smiling and I was surrounded by long black hair as in a drape and I could feel their nude bodies against mine. Now I know how dolphins and whales are feeling when mating, less the black hair of course.
Then May Linh and Lily went to dive of the bluff and I watched them for some time. It was an incredibly beautiful spectacle. They would dive so deep, at least as far as I was concerned, that, even with my goggles, after a while I could only see the shadow of them. And it was always some kind of relief to see them come back up.
I didn’t wait for them and went back home, took a shower outside and went in the kitchen to have breakfast. I heard them come back and they were still wet and they went to take a shower together. Man, was I glad to have built in my home this huge Swedish shower. Then they ate and got ready to go to the village. I knew because they were both in the bedroom putting clothes on after having made the bed.
And I remembered Carter!
“May Linh,” I asked, “do you know Carter?”
“No,” she said, “but I know who he is, the owner of the resort; I spoke with his wife several times at the market. Why?”
“Well,” I said, “the last time I saw him he told me people were gossiping in the village about us.”
“I know that,” she said, adding “there is always gossips in villages and small towns.”
“Well I told Carter that you were working for me as ‘gens de maison’,” I said.
“Well that’s pretty much what I tell people when they ask me,” she said.
“But what about Lily now,” I asked.
“I already told them that Lily came to help me.”
I wondered what those villagers may be thinking: how hard could the job be, taking care of an old white guy, that she’d need help? But I had the feeling that May Linh, somehow, made it natural for villagers to understand her presence, and now Lily’s.
“My, oh my, so Mr. You doesn’t want neighbors to know what kind of job you gave us!” said Lily, amused.
No, indeed, I didn’t want anyone to know and Lily’s laughter embarrassed me a bit.
Then, they both left.
That day they brought back from the village a huge bunch of white gladioli. There were so many of it – they were on sale or what? – that May Linh and Lily had to spread them in every vases throughout the house. I had never seen anything like this, all of those white gladioli everywhere against the brown frame of the house. It was beautiful. May Linh’s altar, with candles and its own gladioli, was somehow meshed into the wall and her piano seemed to come out of a white flowery bank. Then I realized Lily had no altar, at least not yet.
May Linh was about to get ready to play the piano and I was about to settle on the porch when I heard Lily say:
“May Linh, let me give you a massage.”
“Well,” May Linh said, “I don’t know,” and she blushed.
“Don’t be silly,” Lily said. “Let me get ready. Mr. You, would you please help me set up the divan?”
Both of them were looking at me. So I looked in May Linh’s eyes and I saw she had already given in so I went to the porch and helped Lily. Then I saw her get her leather case, her plastic roll, then spread new towels.
God I thought, what will the cleaner think next week when, all of a sudden, he has all those towels to clean?
May Linh was inside, seated on her piano stool and she looked defeated and somewhat sad. I wanted to help her but I didn’t know how. Lily guessed all that I guess because she very softly went to get May Linh and she gently guided her until she lied down on her stomach on the divan. Then I saw Lily starting to work from the top of May Linh’s head.
I was standing there and I felt like an idiot because I didn’t know what to do. I wish I could have played the piano because I remembered how May Linh’s music had helped me yesterday. Anyway I had nowhere to go so I went to get another cup of coffee and came back to the porch and sat on a table’s stool. I lit a cigarette and drunk coffee to give myself an attitude as off-hand as I could.
By now, I knew the drill and I saw in May Linh’s reactions first the relaxing effect of the head massage, then her body getting tense and I knew there was the hurt and the pain I felt at the beginning, and then I saw her body unwind. I was watching them, both nude, and I was trying to keep it all, as if to print the picture in my mind so that I could always go back to it. I was certain now that I was about to wake up from a dream and that I would wake up somewhere else I didn’t want to be, somewhere in my former life. In my former lives I should say. One thing for sure, whether in Paris, Chicago, Athens or Mexico City or Shanghai, I didn’t want to go back. But I didn’t wake up, this was not a dream, and I was mesmerized, my heart going boom boom boom and my head ready to explode.
Lily put more lotion on May Linh – a lot of it – and it smelled of lilies again and it added to the smell of gladioli. I looked out at sea and saw the big ocean and the big sky and the beach and figured we were somewhat left alone in the world and I thought that was a good thing, this utter isolation probably helping to remove ingrained inhibition. Lily then reached the small of May Linh’s back and her buttocks.
When May Linh felt Lily’s fingers reaching into the crack of her ass – I knew, she had done it to me yesterday – she tighten her butt. But Lily just slapped her buttocks: “Relax, May Linh, I saw you and Mr. You under the water,” she said matter-of-factly. For the second time today, I saw a quick blush on May Linh’s face.
“In fact,” Lily was saying, still talking, “I don’t know why he doesn’t gamahuche me yet.” And Lily laughed heartedly and May Linh gave in, again.
“You know, the two of you are idiots,” Lily continued. “It’s quite obvious that you kind of like each other but you don’t want to admit it because it would mean you’d have to move closer toward one another and you’re both scared. You both have been scared all your life if I understand my fingers correctly. And I think it’s about time, at your age, that you guys begin to laugh and cry about it all again.”
When she said that, it reminded me of a song long forgotten but I couldn’t put my finger on which one it was. In any case, for Christ’s sake, there was Lily philosophizing again but I could tell her chatter had a soothing effect on May Linh, like it did for me, because now she was spreading May Linh’s ass cheeks and her finger was going in and out of her anus as part of the massage motions.
May Linh had totally relented and neither she nor I said a word.
Then Lily asked May Linh to turn around. My coffee was long cold and I think I was just chain-smoking but I could feel something in my dick. So May Linh turned around and Lily started again from the forehead on down.
May Linh had her eyes closed, I had mine wide open.
Next episode: Adam says why oh why have I been so ignorant for so long
Previous episode: Lily’s a soul whose intentions are good
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