“May Linh,” I said, “I didn’t tell Mrs. Wan this but for this job, I hope to find three women who would live with me in the nude, not just one.” “Do you already have someone?” May Linh immediately asked. “No,” I said, “you’re the first one I can even explain so far what it is that I wish.” She sat at the table again, so I joined her there.
“Ok, continue,” she said, trying to catch my eyes.
I paused, took a breather, looked away and got started.
Then I explained the magnificence, to me, of an alive female body, this idea of finishing my days surrounded, at last, by living beauty in a house far away from all terrible things men are capable of. I told her about the working contract I had in mind, the days off for week-ends, vacations and whatever holidays they have in their country, the good salary.
We were finishing lunch together, our first one, and we sat facing each other across the table. This job interview had started at 10 am this morning and, pretty much since then, May Linh had been stark naked, accepting my relentless gaze. I had to be fair and, in order for her to decide out of free will whether to sign or not this contract, she needed to know all the terms of it. So, at the moment, I was for old Mr. Me to do the talking.
So I had to tell her that there are hardly any doors in my house by the beach and I told her why I didn’t like doors. “Even in the toilets,” I said. “Remember, I’ve shown you pictures of my house this morning,” I added. May Linh remembered.
Then I told her that we’d all sleep in the same bed, a huge bed, the point being that, whatever their schedule, I’d never sleep alone ever again, for the rest of my days. And I explained that it’s not about being alone as much as it is to spend the rest of your nights sleeping with nude Asian ladies – sometimes one, sometimes two, sometimes three – and sharing their warmth, even with this odd ball, old Mr. Me, and not minding a hand resting for the night on a breast, a belly, an ass. And for everyone to rest assured.
May Linh was looking into my eyes, and I was feeling uneasy all of a sudden.
She suddenly got up and she was nude and looking great and I suddenly got scared and I tried to get a last look at her, one I could remember, because I was sure she was leaving. I was ready for the worst but she just said: “I’m going to the bathroom.” God, thank you God, I was thinking, she’s not leaving. I was elated.
So I went to the kitchen to get more drinks – white wine with ice cubes for her, cold beer for me – when I realized she did go to the bathroom and didn’t close the door. And I could now hear the roll of paper, now the flushing. I couldn’t believe it, I was overwhelmed.
The storm was unremitting and it was by now totally dark inside the apart-hotel as night had fallen really early. Instead of going back to the dining table, where we had been, I set up two armchairs just before the bay window, far enough where we wouldn’t get wet, with a little table to put our drinks on. So we sat there, looking out at a sheet of rain, it was almost solid.
“Resting assured in bed, you said?” she asked
“Yes that’s what I think I said,” I said. “I like this idiom: to rest assured.”
“So you mean, no sex?” May Linh asked
Now, if I wanted to make good use of alien’s generosity, I had to answer. Just to think I didn’t even know this woman this morning.
Well, let’s put it this way. I’m no raging bull anymore and May Linh probably knew that already. She had been here naked for hours now and I hadn’t jumped her ass, not even tried; so she somehow understood that it was not as if she/they had to fear my incessant assaults during the course of doing their job. I knew, and May Linh probably knew it as well, that there would be more TV dinners than orgies. And, she didn’t know it but I had ceased any sexual activity long time ago, when my wife decided there would be none anymore, other than hygienic. Even that disappeared. I didn’t think old Mr. Me could even get a hard on anymore. But that didn’t mean there wouldn’t be sex.
I didn’t know before I started this if any of my employees would quite understand what I would be saying, especially since I don’t speak their language, but at that very moment, I was certain that, out of all that had happened today, May Linh understood perfectly every word. And what I found incredible is that she was still, at the moment, pursuing further this conversation with me. And there she was on a chair, on my left, so beautiful, so naked and I was breaking my neck trying to steal a glance at her. I must still be quite a charmer I thought with irony.
“So you mean no sex?” she asked again.
I couldn’t delay my answer anymore. It was not simple. Although she couldn’t stare into my eyes, I could still feel her drilling through my brain.
So I told her about this short story, a fiction written by a Japanese writer whom I have forgotten the name. It was the story of an old man totally helpless, confined to a wheelchair. He was paralyzed from head to toes. He couldn’t talk and couldn’t move nor express himself in any way but with the blinks of his eyes. The locked-in syndrome I think it is called. He had people taking care of him since he was still alive and somewhat powerful enough to afford it. But he could see. And he could blink his eyes.
He got this Japanese nurse assigned to his case, a young nurse. To him, she was looking ok, a bit stupid like all of them. The old fart wasn’t thinking much about it until one morning, it was spring, she rolled him over to the window. Once there, he looked up and caught a glimpse of the sun piercing through one of her nostrils. I mean, talk about sweet pink… The old guy had forgotten about luck but he recognized it when he saw it. And that was something!
From then on, from the moment he woke up every morning, he tried, with his blinks, to somehow corral this nurse to roll him by the window. Because, once he got there, and if the sun was just right through the window, and if she was just over him talking nonsense, the sun would maybe shine through the skin of her nostril and he, from underneath, would see that shade of pink again. Most days were defeats but that kept him alive because, when luck would have it, no kidding, in his head, in his body, there was something like a powerful stealth explosion! Only he knew, of course, of those stealth deflagrations but every single man and woman on this planet owe to know of it.
“Some pinky stuff, ain’t it?” I said, trying to be funny.
May Linh didn’t say anything.
So I kept on.
“As for me,” I said, “I understand this man.” Doesn’t anyone else know about the shades of pink in a woman? The ear lobe? The pussy? The darker pink of the vibrating skin of a female butthole? Are we really better off than this guy trying to get lucky? I don’t think so. Are we just as desperate? I think so.
“For all purposes,” I continued, “this nurse could go back home safely to her boyfriend explaining she’s taking care of an old fool. Not fear, no pain. So what’s the fuzz? In this case, as far as I’m concerned, this woman never had anything to worry about, had she?”
“Nonetheless, considering it all, at the end there is some kind of violence,” remarked May Linh. I was surprised because she hadn’t said anything for a while now. “Because the dumb nurse didn’t know and didn’t realize the sum of this man’s desires, he manipulated her,” she said. “And even if he didn’t manipulate her per se, which is probably the case, anyway, there was some violence, no matter how harmless it may be, because she didn’t consent.”
“Yes, exactly,” I said, excited, “that’s why, for the job I’m talking about, you have to know all the tenets of it before consenting to it, or not. But to answer your question, yes, indeed, when all is said and done, as far as this old man was concerned, blinking, what he felt was sex. Pure sex! The purest! Given the circumstances, shouldn’t the old guy go for it? And aren’t his desires legit? And shouldn’t a nurse, a woman, feel good and proud of his attention and his desperate efforts? Shouldn’t she sometimes demonstrate a bit of pity and show him a tit or a leg and on Sunday, after church when she’s in a good mood, even a bit of pussy or ass? Just for his blinking eyes? That would sure beat sunlight through the nostril of an idiotic nurse and wouldn’t that come close to what humanity has best to offer?”
“But you’re not in a wheelchair,” May Linh said.
“Yes but I’m no King Kong no more either,” I said. “And I’m old and tired and pretty much done for and my dick has been dead for a long time now, years.”
“But there’s sex somewhere, somehow, in this job, isn’t it?” May Linh insisted.
“Well, yes, somehow, there’s sex,” I had to admit.
Again, I thought she would get up and leave. Again, we remained silent for a long time. Longer it lasted, more chance I thought I had she wasn’t going to storm out of here. I wasn’t even trying to look at her, I didn’t want to do anything that would flush or peeve her. After a while, she turned round and looked at me.
“So, what are exactly your intentions?” she asked.
I wondered for an instant if she was just curious. I turned away from her gaze and looked out the window, past the rain, past the storm, past the capital city of this Southeastern Asian country. I had to explain further. She was stark naked but I was the one who couldn’t hide anymore.