So, getting back to Deedee, those lovely legs, that flouncy skirt, her stunning beauty…
After we’d eaten I’d planned to take a cab to a certain bar on
When I wish to seduce a woman, I either take her to Laris or to this bar. As we leave the bar, we will walk past the garden, and I’ll point it out, having made sure to mention it over the drink, telling my date it’s well worth a look.
And indeed it is worth a look. For I have walked in that park on forty different evenings and have never met anyone else in it. Local people, seeing the gate of a hotel, will not go beyond it if they are not a resident of the hotel; and indeed I suspect that the gate guard would stop them if they tried. Much of
But the lack of locals in the park means it is not strewn with spit and litter, as is every other city park; means the trees and plants are able to grow and thrive, rather than being picked, poked and plucked to destruction as they are in other parks; means there are no people pissing in the bushes and hawking up phlegm; means there are no security guards in ill-fitting uniforms prowling; means there are no speakers dismally fashioned into plastic rocks and toads piping out awful, awful, awful music; means there are no bright neon lights to blare anyway any trace of mood left from those speakers’ assault; means there are no kids vandalizing the place as parents look on lovingly; means I can walk with a girl on my arm without being gazed at like some curiosity from beyond the seas, without those same insouciant parents calling to their spoiled progeny, ‘Look at the foreigner!’
Means, in short, with its paths and pools of darkness, with its relative quiet, with its backdrop of the elegant hotel building, that it is the ideal place for a post-drink kiss.
Dinner was good and filled me with the hope that I might bed her that night. Our eyes meeting, hands touching, plenty of laughter, easy, free conversation. And she is far from the good-time girl I assumed she was; likes jazz, dances ballet… And is self-aware, too. ‘People look at me and think I’m the kind of person who just like pop music,’ she said.
‘I never thought that for a moment’ I lied.
Most of the other stuff we talked about I cannot recall – stuff about how she hates university (which is hardly surprising, for someone like her would find its cramped, stifling monotony unbearable) – wants to study abroad.
But toward the end of our meal, slow, leisurely, she scotched my hopes by pulling the ol’ parents number on me, Ma and Pa wanting her home by 10pm. Hah. Even so, I was still confident. Were we not paddling hands, touching legs, locking eyes? She liked being with me, was excited, effervescent. This was not a simple brush-off.
Dinner done, the weather had changed to a fine rain, so there was no point in heading to the bar and, besides, she ‘wanted to go home.’ Yet she agreed to a coffee instead, so we went to a nearby place, my one arm round her waist and the other holding the umbrella as we walked. And there again in the coffee bar we sat knee to knee, caresses, her hand on my knee, my hand on her arm.
But about this time of the evening, things went a little odd. Not between me and her. She’d been getting SMS messages all evening, but now their constant trickle became a barrage. After she’d dealt with a flurry of them, she gave me an explanation.
Since she was seven years old she’s grown up with this guy. He ‘loves’ her. They had a relationship for a while, but she ended it. He, in the way of this culture, could not accept a No; could not even understand it, simply had no concept of her right to be unpestered. Instead, just like Lucy’s guy, just like Simone’s, he pursued her with this welter of calls and messages, keeping tabs on her every movement. (I have not mentioned Simone in detail yet; she was the one who was 19 when I met her, making her my youngest lover to date; I will add that story to the to-do pile.)
This guy of Deedee’s calls her every night to make sure she’s home by ten; and calls her a little later on to ‘say goodnight’ to her.
Sure, I let him have it. Why not? I told her how wholly unacceptable this behavior was, how she should not stand for it, how her life was her choice and so on. As I told her this there was a wash of relief and recognition over her face, as though what I said accorded with a belief she was sure was true yet that no-else seemed to share; as, maybe, when one person who thinks to have spotted a UFO, to the general amused contempt of others, meets a fellow believer.
Then the guy called her. I knew it was the guy as soon as she answered up the phone, since she blushed in embarrassment and walked over to the other side of the room to take the call. These signs pleased me; they meant she did not want our tête-à-tête interrupted by this clod, that she knew he was a crass interruption to what we had going. After the call (which she confirmed was indeed from him) she told me that he was living alone here, since his parents were in the US (where he had spent a few years), and that he felt lonely and depressed; and so he could not get to sleep unless each night he called her to say goodnight. The fucking pussy.
What he was really doing was quite obvious, so I told her. ‘Don’t you see? He is trying to control you. He just wants to make sure you are at home. He doesn’t want you to be out having fun, he’s worried you might meet other men. He’s trying to control you. That’s totally wrong.’ Perhaps this had not occurred to her. When I told her, its truth was immediately apparent to her. Now since by making her see what a scumbag this guy is I can incline her more toward me, I continued to let him have it. ‘Frankly he would not dare try this in
And in fact my own fervent desire to fuck her until she yelps aside, this kind of shitty behavior does piss me off pretty good. Guys here can be such scumbags. Not, of course, that I am in any way morally responsible or decent when it comes to women. But at least I’m not the stalker type. Yes, a liar, a cheat, a cad; but I respect each and every woman I’m with. And maybe it was a crude step to bring race into the equation… but it is a racial thing – or, better, a cultural thing which was anyway the terms in which I framed it.
Is that a brush I can be tarred with? Possibly. After all, it is my skin color that makes me desirable, that gives me an edge; and I take advantage of that. And though I like to think I do not treat women with the contempt that so many guys here express, maybe I am indeed just as bad, albeit in a different manner. But no; no, and again no. I simply do not treat women with the scorn and cowardice of so many guys in this society.
But anyhow; Deedee felt she had to go home. Yet she’d said she felt that way in the restaurant and had already stayed an hour beyond that. And her claims that ‘I must go.. let me, go, I must go’ were not much more than words, for I made no move to make her stay beyond saying ‘Only go if you want to go. Not because he says so. If you want go or if your parents tell you to go home, that’s ok. I’d respect your parents’ wishes, but not his. He has no right to control you like this.’ That’s all I said, and she stayed, our bodies close, her knee finding mine. And indeed in the end I decided to give her her exit –‘Well, then, I guess we should go..’