Since May Linh has been in the house with me, almost two weeks now, we have found our own ways to share the place, as if it was easier for both of us to be living alone together. In fact, although we are from two different parts of the world, old Mr. Me from white occidental Christian country and May Linh from this southeastern Asian country with whatever religious roots she has, we pretty much live like two hermits. Like a yesterday man and a yesterday woman.
She has installed a little altar near her piano. There are candles and flowers and a picture in black and white of a young man, rather good looking, in occidental clothing, her father I guess. She’s an only child I know.
Our contract stipulates that she’d be nude in the house and could be gamahuched, or fondled, by old Mr. Me here and there and I don’t think hermits live quite like that. Then again, I don’t advertise my way of living and maybe there are zillions fucks like me in the world doing the same thing in hiding, at least wishing I guess. Maybe I’m not the only one aliens have been kind to.
All that to say that May Linh and I, as days went by, got into some sort of a routine. In the morning she is in the garden and, after lunch, every other days or so, she goes to the village with the bike.
While she’s gone, I read or write on the porch, smoking cigarettes, or I play spider solitaire. Four suits. I’m a master at spider solitaire, I once won 77 games in a row. With this kind of patience and time to loose, I cannot be a bad guy, can I?
When May Linh comes back from the village (or where ever she went, I never ask), she first hurries to the toilet – so I know she doesn’t like public toilets, or villagers’ toilets – then she comes back from the bathroom and she is nude again like this is the first day of the universe. She then puts her groceries away; this I try not to miss because there is a lot of squatting and bending over at close range. When she’s done, she takes a quick shower, as if changing clothes.
Then she goes to the main room of my shotgun house in front of her shrine and says a prayer, I guess, for I have no idea what she is really saying or doing. Then she bows her head several times murmuring. It is a strange sight for me, watching her doing this stark naked and I’m in awe, of her body of course – her ass, her hair, her breast, everything (I can’t see her face, hidden by her black hair) – but I’m in awe mostly of her. Because then she goes to sit at her piano and starts to play. Then I reach in another dimension that I’m not accustomed too.
To my ears – but what do I know? -, she plays with extraordinary sensuality. ‘Is it because she’s nude?’ I wonder. Then I go to the front porch and just listen to the music, smoking. It’s only classical music and, in the evening, she often turns on a classical music radio station. Now, at night, even after she has gone to bed, I often keep the radio on while I sit outside on my porch, watching the ocean, drinking beer and smoking, looking up at the stars.
May Linh can play for hours on. She has a bunch of music sheets and I can tell when she’s working on a new piece (is the word ‘working’ adequate here, I’m not sure). After a while I started to recognize some pieces she likes and plays often but I’m always surprised to hear her play almost every day something new, meaning a piece I hadn’t heard before. It took me few days to realize she wasn’t cramping.
That got me to pay much greater attention to her hands and fingers although I had been ogling her body like a relentless maniac. I had noticed since the first time I saw her naked that she didn’t wear any jewel: no ring, no necklace, no earrings, no nose pierced, no pussy pierced either. Neither did I.
Yet it took old Mr. Me all of this time, and a grand piano, to notice how delicate her fingers were. Long and thin and yet strong. And that explained her firm handshake when we agreed to our contract, the only time when we shook hands. I realized those fingers alone were something. I could see that, while playing a piece, some keys on the clavier were sometimes far for her small hands, and how, limber, she would reach them anyhow, with velocity. From then on, I never miss to look at her fingers.
So, if she wasn’t cramping, that could only mean that she was very well trained, that she had been playing this piano this way for many years. Thus I understood May Linh couldn’t live without her piano.
Why didn’t she tell me about it when we first met? Could it be because she was worried I might not have liked it and there would have been no contract? I don’t know and I don’t care. She’s here now, nude, and the piano is here and she plays it wonderfully, to my ears for sure. And music is everywhere.
I wonder sometimes what kind of music these guys I can see out at sea on their fishing boats are listening to. I wonder what they’d be thinking if they could hear May Linh, a native just like them, playing her piano like that. They’d be enchanted, I guess, just like I am. Especially if they were, too, to see May Linh play in the nude. In short, her music is filling me in a way old Mr. Me had not anticipated.
When night falls in that part of the world, she stops playing and that is generally about the time I would have my first beer. During the day she drinks only tea and me only water but we sort of got into the rhythm of it. I would pop my first beer, she would stop playing, come back from the kitchen with a glass of white wine, with ice cubes, sometimes with bits and things to munch on, and join me on the porch.
There we watch the sunset, weather permits. We hardly say anything. She is nude and I enjoy gazing at her and I can now relish the beauty of it all without going nuts and all is quiet and nice on the Asian front because there is no front anymore. And, when it’s my turn, I get up and go get the refills, white wine, with the ice cubes, for her, and beer for me. In that too, we never differ. We’re simple people I guess.
Indeed, we also somehow got used to our daily program where sleeping is concerned. It has become some king of a ritual, a gentle one I like to think. She goes first in bed, always in the same place, in the middle of the big bed, always in the same position, on her side, on her left. Then I come in, slide behind her and get first a good feel up my nose of her smell then caress her back, buttocks and thighs and eventually gamahuche her anus lightly before falling asleep.
If old Mr. Me is no Dracula nor King Kong anymore, May Linh is neither a statue nor a robot. I think that, on this lonely and dangerous planet, there is something incredible happening in the intimacy of our recluse life and I can certainly feel and appreciate the humanity of it and, in my own way, I try to reciprocate. I can feel when she gets a bit wet and I’m glad old Mr. Me’s dick is long dead otherwise this would not be possible, and that goes as well for the stealth explosions.
I don’t know what May Linh thinks, she doesn’t say and I don’t ask.
One evening, I asked her: “You’re not taking your days off?”
“Not now,” she said.
“I’ll take seven or eight days off each month, as stated in our contract, but I’ll take them all together at once, I’ll be gone a week,” she said. That left me debilitated. I hadn’t thought of that. “Ah, huh… good… bah…oui…very well, ok then, no problem,” I muttered. And that was that for a while.
Still, it bothered me a bit. A week!!! I didn’t say anything, not because of irritation, although I was irritated a little – I’m the boss after all – but because I hadn’t imagined it that way and I just realized there was now some kind of a DEADLINE. Soon. Very soon. Obviously. Fucking glimpses.
“Sure,” I said, “I’ll take you to the train station.”
“Thank you,” she said.
We both said nothing.
“You gonna miss your piano,” I said.
“Yes,” she said.
I think it’s the very next day that there was a major development in our relationship. (Is this a relationship? Already? I’m afraid so, for lack of another word, and I know the world had just, again, scored against me). Anyway I had gone to swim like usual but, as I was swimming back, although I was still far, I saw her sitting on the beach, by the water, and I knew she was waiting for me.
I could tell she had lost her gardening attire and was nude but, from where I was, I couldn’t quite tell if she had her boots on or not. That’s just what I needed to lose my senses and my rhythm in the water. Where are sharks when you need them?
When I reached higher grounds, May Linh was standing up, with no boots on. I stood up too, still in the water, looking up at her, hoping secretly I’d look like Tarzan. She was beautiful, nude under the sun, in full light, with every detail of her body having its own subtle shadow, her hair blazing black, like her tiny black pubic triangle, trimmed perfect with my OWN shaver. God please have mercy!
I could tell the color of her skin had changed since arriving here. I didn’t pay much attention to it then but I remembered now that, the first time I saw her, in the apart-hotel I had rented in the capital to interview candidates, I had noticed that only her forearms, her face, her calves and her hands were tanned. She has an olive skin but her body, almost all of it, was white, so to speak, and it occurred to me that this body of hers may have never seen the sun. Ever heard of vitamin D? Or is it vitamin E? Doesn’t matter. I believe the sun is good for you but, indeed, I don’t recall Party apparatchiks going to the beach to get a tan, nor their wives. They’re usually the one sending others to get a tan while working in the revolutions’ fields.
Today, I could see May Linh had started to tan and, peasant as I may be, it looked good to me and that made her body looked somehow healthier. May Linh was limber to begin with – Tai Shi, she explained – but the way she walked had also evolved since she arrived here, I thought, as if she had lost some of the weight she had been carrying on her shoulders. But what do I know?
“The contract said swimming lessons, didn’t it?” she said.
“Yes, it does,” I said, back to earth.
“Very well then,” May Linh said, and she started to walk into the ocean.