The Seduction

August 5, 2011

I was rummaging through some old papers. Trying to clear out the junk from the house. When I found a box of old manuscripts. One was a ms called The Gallery. I started to read them. God, it was a senior’s moment. I couldn’t remember writing them. But then faint glimpses of the 70s started coming back to me. I’ve decided the retype them. They were typed and not saved. This was in the days of typewriters. I haven’t changed much about this first piece even though my editing radar rose a couple of times. Still, I like the piece and didn’t want to try and rewrite it. So as I type these out I might drop them on here. The book is now going to called tentatively ‘Somewhere in the 70s’


The Seduction


I was in Edgerton’s drinking draft. Another victim of the heat wave. Eighty five degrees with a bullet. It wasn’t safe on the streets. The city was clogged with cops. Security was clausterphobic. Several important diplomats from exotic lands (one was Buffalo) were expected in the city. They were coming to compete for the hand of the most beautiful woman in the world. The mayor kept the hand in his desk drawer beside his acceptance speech and a smoking gun. How was I to know that the most beautiful girl would soon be mine.


Ray introduced us. She shook her golden hair and smiled. I’ve heard a lot about you from Ray, she said. Could a voice be softer? Could lips be more sensuous? Could teeth be whiter? Could a mouth be better shaped? Round and hollow and deep. It was too bad about her hand. Missing.


I began to giggle when she ran her tongue across her teeth. I kept thinking of Duke Ellington’s long black fingers dancing across the white piano keys as Frank Sinatra sang I don’t get around much anymore.


Monica, for that was her name, and Ray were old friends. They met when Ray fixed the flat tire of her wheel barrel. The wheel barrel she used to carry her husband home from his drunken binges when he went out to celebrate being sober.


Monica’s marriage had been arranged. The two families, her’s and her husband’s, had been united by a common allergy. Communism. In the old country. They defined communism as stealing the rich from the money and handing them over to the poor. Both families were Ukranian nationalists who during the war had supported the Germans against the Reds. After the war they moved to Canada where they fornicated for a new army in exile. Monica and her husband were expected to produce little corporals. Monica produced none.


Monica invited me to dine with her. She knew a nice Greek restaurant off Gerard Street. Using her car, a beat up old Vauxhall, we soon arrived at our destination. In a panic I searched my pockets for my wallet. Monica laughed. Tonight, she said, everything is on me.


The owner of the restaurant showed us to our table. He made us swear an oath the we would enjoy our food. But wouldn’t make too much noise sipping our soup. He wanted to listen to the hockey game between the Russians and some thugs from Philadelphia.


How do you fall in love? In stolen glances? In half glances? In captured glances? In glances like plunder? My various appendages were swollen. My jeans were having cramps. My heart pounded back and forth in my chest. Like an elevator in an old shaft. My imagination kept ripping Monica’s blouse off. If this keeps up, I thought, I’m going to drop from exhaustion.


Monica told me that she and her husband no longer made love. He slept on the floor. She said his mother was a force in city politics. She was running for office on a right wing ticket, promising less government. If elected she promised to resign. His father worked on the water works. Kept a close eye on the fluoride.


Monica and her husband were renovating a tent that they kept in a parking lot behind a Becker’s store. Her husband graduated from university in architecture. They’d replaced the plumbing and put in plastic panelling. And were now building a fireplace with foam rubber bricks.


As we sat eating I heard the Russians had left the ice between periods and were entering Afghanistan.


She talked about God. She called him ‘the big goof in the sky’. One time she thought he was pure energy. Another time she thought he was an old buick she saw parked in front of a laundromat. And another time she thought he must be having a branding, and smoking a cigar. Waiting for his meal to digest. She figured that one night God had insomnia and created the universe while trying to sleep.


I responded. Everything is either an accident or a wonder. You either become a cynic or a romantic.


I drank up her words. Her voice went straight into my blood and blended with the wine. Monica peeled the labels of the wine bottles. In time, she said, everything becomes valuable. Even people if they become rare enough.


After dinner we went for a drive. Picked up Monica’s dog, Sam. Sam needed to go for a run. We had to find space in the universe for Sam to defecate. We went to a park by the lake. The lake was named after a politician had cleared his voice. I held Monica’s hand. Sam ran on ahead. I felt kidnapped by desire. We watched the sun set over Mimico. She brushed the hair from my eyes.


We lay on the beach. Trees swayed in the moonlight. My fingers trembled with her buttons. My tongue laughed in her mouth. I put my shirt under her head. My kisses got tangled in her hair. Her jeans slid easily over her knees. My heart began to bubble. My eyes began to whistle. She opened up her thighs.


Sam came up. Sniffed us. Stole my underwear and bounded down the shoreline. The dog was waving my Hanes like a flag. Celebrating his mistress’s new lover.


I turned over on my back and sighed. Monica lay beside me. Smiling. The tide washed up between her thighs. I laughed at the sky. Throwing my teeth at the stars. A cynic crippled by a kiss.




One Response to “The Seduction”

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