COLUMN FORTY-TWO, FEBRUARY 1, 1999
(Copyright © 1999 Al Aronowitz)
IROKO: A NOVEL OF THE CUBAN REVOLUTION; CHAPTER 3
El Químico always wondered how those two gnarled, ugly Basques, Eloy and Benedicta, could have engendered, while well in their forties, a two "y" chromosome super female like Eunice. She had an aura, an effluvium of tantalizing virginity like a queen bee, that turned on and brought instant erections in the Cuban machos in the street, to the extent that so far El Químico had had three fist fights---won two, lost one---on that account, guys telling her bull disregardindig that she was escorted. Whatever they say, Madonna Lisa was plain and drab, with the commonest hues of brown hair and eyes, no big deal. Very fiorentina. But Eunice was made from very fferent stuff.
What flourished in her after thousands of generations, regressing
way down in the maelstrom of the DNA, was the original, pristine, primeva---later debased
and diluted---beauty of the Euzkeras, later to be called Va= scos, who nobody knew where
they came from. They had been for times immemorial there, in their northern valleys, when
the far better armed Visigoths entered the Iberian peninsula. Basque was prohibited during
El Caudillo's Camelot. Forbidden in schools and in printing, isolated, was left to corrupt
itself inside the flagstone-roofed, whitewashed walled farmhouses in a landscape more
Irish than Spanish.
That, and the impact of radio first and later TV, the barrage of officialist Castillian "zezeo." Annihilation campaign of ethnic majorities that went to the extent of dubbing all films, including perfectly understandable Latin American ones, into Castillian: thick, artificial, elitist badge of prestige. Los Madriles Repipi (But he digresses. . .)
A not too farfetched theory if the subjects of the study had been Eunice's parents, so primitive, so backward, who talked among themselves in a guttural tongue that made you feel sure you'll never learn it no matter how hard you tried. Unlike her elder sister, Eunice was Havana born. But even if her accent was upper class Habanero, she sometimes gave you the impression, during some rare moods, that she was thinking in her maternal language. She had an archer's eyes. The irises were very light brown not quite hazel indoors, but golden when in the sun. The sun in that park that would haunt his memories for so many years afterwards. She wore her hair short, on which was regarded then as a tortillera's haircut. But no possible confusion. It was not a blond hinting of peroxide, but honey colored and interspersed by an occasional darker strand. Golden. Straight, soft.
Classic features that El Químico would recognize many years afterward in the Niké Áptera. Body not of Venus but Diana's, strong, supple. Byzantine breasts; callipigic. Tall by Cuban standards, five-ten---an inch taller than El Químico, in fact, more on high heels. While at the Saúl Delgado Pre, when there was Educación Física for the females of her group in the former parking lot down the hill, male absenteeism was notable amid the prurient male population of that senior high institute. Among them El Químico, who had dropped out in September the year before, and thus had no valid alibi for being there.
She would start like a flash and win like a piece of cake the 100, 200, 400, 800 meters, you name it. Without opposition, true, since the other girls ran like cows, thighs rubbing, knees awkward, self-conscious in their shorts and T-shirts, saluting with their fingertips the fans at street level while the fans' fingers gripped the hurricane fence as the male members among them teemed with desire, something which made El Químico go berserk, but there were too many of them to fight. Their main source of arousal was undoubtedly Eunice, the others just side dishes: Perla Ugarte, Lola Calviño, Gilda Ares and all the others. She didn't really care who watched, but ran the race in long, swift strides like a thoroughbred born to run. "Agamenón," the Educación Física teacher, a big hermaphrodite Negro, waving his arms and the Russian chronometer, and later chiding her for smoking, for not taking sports seriously, because sports was one of the few ways of making it in revolutionary Cuba. Brains and brawn. Straight 100s in most subjects, only an occasional 90 in arid disiplines like mathematics, physics or chemistry. Well read, and El Químico gave her reading a further direction, a method. She was the only person he lent books to.
El Químico, his thoughts and his hormones in turmoil, went down San Rafael Street, and through Basarrate and Infanta. The aged General Motors and brand new Leylands spewing toxic diesel fumes from thick Russian low grade oil, high on sulphurs. Skirting two buses: passengers hanging precariously from the doors like bunches of bananas, turning left, tilting, roaring, gears grinding, and going up San Lázaro's steep hill, University bound. The asphalt on the street molten to the viscosity of flypaper under the burning July sun . El Químico jumped into the curb with a bullfighter's strut---right into the stench of the arcade of "El Carmen" church: Stale urine. Myrrh and frankincense to the tune of an organ toccata, its cascade of somber notes played by the young Spanish priest. But the beggars' pungent reek prevailed---of unwashed armpits, crotches and feet, of unwiped asses. El Químico emerged from the columnata, and glided down the four steps into the sun.
It was a long and narrow house much like his, high-ceilinged, erected in the early '20s during the Fat Cows. The living room had been converted into a cobbler's shop, where Eloy, gray haired with a bald spot, a dirty apron and nails in his tightened lips, mended shoes with deep concentration from eight in the morning until 6 in the evening or later, never talking and never looking up. The former smell of good leather and waxed twine in his shop became gradually substituted by that of Russian rubber and synthetic glue. Pieces of
was in love
cardboard and plywood formed a brief corridor into the courtyard; the first two rooms to El Químico's left were inhabited by an old, gaunt witch and an Oriental mulatto faggot in his thirties, who ogled El Químico as he passed by. Eunice's family lived in the two back rooms.
Simultaneous pleasure and disgust. Pleasure because Eunice looked and smelled fresh from the shower. On the rustic table were her Geometry text and copybooks, her triangles, her polygons and her circles neatly traced. As usual when seeing her his throat tightened, and his pulse ran faster. She wore a stamped cotton dress, smart, sewn by herself on the primitive Singer. Her legs provocative in the nylon stockings. No makeup, no need.
Time stopped, her image engraved itself on his mind, the sheer enjoyment of her sight and smell. She took a lighted Aromas cigarette from the ashtray, inhaled with pleasure and expelled the smoke through her flared nostrils, her nose so straight and perfect. Once more he felt certain that he'll never love anyone that much, body and mind. She looked up, saw him, stopped in the middle of a sentence, and smiled---white strong teeth rarely seen in Cuba except in some Negroes.
Distaste: the Beauty and the Beast, the latter being Rigoleto the hunchback. Eyes of a dull green that conveyed not intelligence but cunning, contrivance, deviousness; dead as a shark's. Sickly white skin, yellow buck teeth, and blond kinky hair, as a javao's. Like a cobra cappello lurking there, hunch full of poison. Pigeon chested and with a rachitic thorax, too short. The skinny legs very long in comparison. A deformity which Carballeda suffered like an everyday, full time crucifixion, that drove him into the Seminary, knowing that he'll never be ordained, aspiring only to be someday a lay brother.
But Rigoleto regarded his own hump as a mere inconvenience, a limitation for his revolutionary activities. No particular complex about it. Rejected by the Army medical board---the doctors laughing---he enrolled instead in the Milicias, and trained as number 1 server of the Browning 7.62 mm machine-gun [approx. 50 caliber]. Given the chance, he would expatiate about his greatest accomplishment: he volunteered to man a "Patria o Muerte," one of Batista's old cannibalized Sherman tanks, buried on the beaches, only the turret showing. The 75 mm guns still worked and had plenty of shells. The idea was to fire into the Americans' landing craft during the imminent invasion, this time for real, you'll see. It was regarded as a suicide, kamikaze mission. But Khrushchev soon gave Fidel, among other ordnance, whole battalions of World War II vintage T-34 tanks; SAU-100 self-propelled pieces; 122, 85, 76 and 57 mm cannons; 152 and 122 mm howitzers; 82 and 120 mm mortars, etc. And the pathetic Shermans went where they belonged, the scrap yard. Perhaps mourned only by Rigoleto.
"Rogelio was telling me about your fight; mark my words, one day you'll be sorry for beating your own brother, just wait and see. . ." Long slightly spatulated index fingertip, unpainted nail, admonishing. The Hand of God.
"Funny, I didn't know Rigoleto's here name. . . Rogelio, what do you know. Anyway it wasn't my fault, it's Pachacho who starts them fights. . ."
"Have to go, Eunice. So long, Emilio---you see: I do remember your name. . ."
"Is that by any chance a threat with snitching on me to your cop pals?"
No reply, only hooded eyes, concealed hatred. Taking a long time to stand, as with regret, and going away.
"Ridi pagliacciooo. . .anche seai triste riidi. . .riidi pagliaccio. . .anche ti dolga il cuuul. . ." sang El Químico after the retreating hunch.
"You make me angry, you shouldn't treat him like a monster. . ."
"Frankenstein was the monster, this one is a shitty freak you mean. You know, this neighborhood has the highest rate of freaks, degenerates, perverts, drunkards, morons, mongoloids and motherfuckers by the square meter in the whole---"
"Watch your tongue, my mother is listening."
"So what? She don't know Spanish anyway."
Eunice couldn't help but laugh. "She knows more than you think. Anyway you shouldn't hurt him, I don't like it. . ."
El Químico kissed her on the forehead and returned to his chair. "Titi, you are amazing. You'd be sorry for a scorpion or a tarantula. The guy is a scumbag, a snitch. You know how many guys he has sent to The Hill?"
"You get along very well with Carballeda, and he's a freak too, isn't he?"
"Suppose so. But he is a man. He's got 20 inches of biceps and natural, no iron pumping, he can't anyway. . . And if somebody tries to make fun of him, brother, you got yourself a mean fight. . . He does something I don't fucking---excuse me---dare to, standing like that in the Rollercoaster at Coni Ailan, with his arms crossed and all. Like doesn't give a fart if he fell and crashed below. But this scumbag. . ."
"Let's change the subject, please."
"You are right, absolutely." And in a whisper: "We are going to Los Violines. . ."
Susurrated answer: "No way, too dark and too sleazy. . . Last time there was a couple beside me doing you know what."
"The Sherezada then. . ."
"That's better. . . Mimaaa, we are leaving for the movies."
She put away the books, picked up her handbag. Walked hand-in-hand towards the street door.
"Adios, Pipo. . ."
"Adios, Eloy. . ."
"Jesus, I'm going to melt.."
Smell of fresh bread from "La Candeal," a long line waiting for the guava pastries which the old lame Negro baked. Crossed to the other side of San Lazaro; ran the last meters,
The tightly packed
wasn't air conditioned
just in time to catch the incoming 37, a Leyland full of sweaty passengers homebound in the twilight. Hardened cock against her orbal, round, perfect buttocks. Mutual inflamed desire while they hanged precariously from the bar, El Químico protecting her in a tight embrace against the "jamoneros" of slippery pricks. Surrounding them overwhelming odor of grajo. Garlicky sweat soaking the armpits of the ubiquitous gray working shirts; Chinese khaki pants completed the quasi-Maoist garb. The footwear erratic. Protests from stepped-on corns. The treacherous fart. A vaguely familiar fattish boy of 12 or so climbed on at "L" stop, wielding over the heads of the passengers a dangerous looking four-slinged Champion.
"I wish we were on the air-condition already. . ."
"And a cold carta con soda. . . "
"That's what Roqueta used to drink. . ."
"And why the fuck you tell me, you make feel second dish like. . ."
"Sorry, seems I studied too much Maths today. . ."
"I don't know why you waste your time on all that crap. . . Give me a Chess book anytime, there you have true intelligence, recorded move by move, for good. . . almost."
"Because that's all they are goin' to give me, something like that, Maths Licentiate, Cartography, that sort of thing, maybe a year or two before I leave. . ."
"Stop, shit! That's like mentioning the rope at the hanged man's wake. . ."
"Suppose so. . . Only, wished you'd cut those sideburns. .
"What the fuck kind of existential trip you are on today, Titi? What's the matter with them sideburns?"
"It's that you look like a cheo."
"Ah, get down from that cloud! Listen instead to that song. . ."
"Con que pasiooon. . . me acariciaabas. . .con que pasiooon. . . te acaricieee. . . por mi balcoon. . . las hojas mueertaaas. . ."
An El Beni song was playing on a Selena radio carried by an olive-green-garbed conscript. The bus broke down at Maternidad de Línea stop. Their own stop anyhow. Muttered anger all around. They looked straight into each other's eyes. Lo and behold. And the always inevitable and ever-present but never uttered question: "Do we go to a posada""
And make love for the first time? Eat you. Bust your cherry. But no, they walked hand-in-sweaty-hand towards the Focsa building, then down the concrete stairs, and through the door of the "Sherezada" into the blast of conditioned air, and groped in the darkness looking for an unseen table, the only points of reference the cigarette tips glowing red in the abrupt and sudden darkness of the stale, smoky air. El Químico gripped Eunice's left hand and his right touched the wall.
"Here. Honeymoon in your hand."
He helped her into the cushion, and went buff-blindingly towards the bar. It was the fat barman with the mustache who always carried an umbrella, rain or not.
"Un carta con soda y un añejo con yinyerel. . ."
"Sorry we have only pop."
Back to Eunice's glowing Aromas, he handed her the glass before dropping himself at the floor at her side. Unseen taste of distaste.
"This is no ginger ale. . ."
"Nope, had none. . ."
"Well, better than nothing. . ."
He didn't let her finish the sentence: he went straight for her mouth, her neck, her throat, the green flash pounding his mind, subconsciously knowing all the time to the millisecond that this was the last and only present, and before him straightened a long empty road without her, all the rest pipe dreams. Desolate arid world without her, future stretching ahead like a wasteland, everlasting.
He had fallen in love head over heels one hazy July afternoon, both of them sharing lunch---the inevitable yellow peas, potaje and white rice---at the Instituto's dining hall and agreed to play hooky. She was wearing not a white regulation blouse, but a civilian's, black bra clearly discerned; his eyes hooked on the cleave of her high round perfect breasts.
"What color are your bloomers?"
"Black too, look. . ."
Pushing aside the green khaki starched skirt. White clear deep belly, perfect belly button, black fancy bikini. Instantaneous huge painful erection ensued, which he tried to hide pocketing his hands on his green Pitusas.
And this one was another aftermath, another mate: her swollen lips, breath clean and sane and nice despite the cigarette, their kiss interrupted only to swallow another glass in a gulp, going to the bar and returning with fresh ones, he three lines ahead. He lighted a Popular.
"I don't know how you can smoke those black cigarettes. . . ruining your lungs. . . they can kill you, you know. . ."
"Yeah, so can sex. . ."
"I'm not sure about that. . ."
"Yeah, you still believe in that old Adam and Eve Adventist nonsense. I don't dig you, really, how you can be so smart for some things and so naive about others. . . Do your sister and Tony fuck?"
"I don't think so, waiting for the wedding, as they
"Squares. Brainwashed the two of them. When do they leave?"
"In March I guess, if everything goes alright at the Consulate; she wants to go repatriated, and Tony's family in Miami are paying his plane ticket. They don't want to touch Dad's money over there."
"Smart your Dad, despite everything, getting his money out on time. Look at mine. Such an asshole. . ."
"Shhh---" cold fingers closing his lips in the cool darkness. His right hand went straight for her sex under the half uplifted dress. Small steely hand detaining his, thighs tightly closed together, his index, resigned, skirting her Bermuda triangle, feeling the pubic hair underneath her virginal undies.
"I'd give ten years of my life just for touching your
"I know, but you can't. Anyway it's not worthwhile"
"You are terrible and wicked, Titi, why do you keep me waiting like this? Don't you know it hurts me, necking like this gives you blueballs, and then, you go your way and I'll go mine, each one to jerk himself or herself, you on your toilet and I on my bed, coming uselessly?"
"Fuck, I can't, you are a cold blooded murderer. . . Please, let's go the posada. I swear by the most sacred I'm only going to suck it, I won't bust you."
"You should know better. Those indecent places. . ."
"Well I'll bribe a guy in a hotel where newlyweds go them three days. . . But that ain't the point at all, let's go tomorrow to the bufete colectivo. We both are 18, and we both have our birth certificates. Just let's phone Iraida and Daniel right now, they will witness the whole stuff. I'll sign all them papers, the ten of them."
No answer, instead a finger probing.
"Does it hurt?" touching lightly the adhesive tape.
touch your papayita
pleeasee. . .'
Evasive, changing the subject. "Only when I jerk off."
"You are Cain, slaughtering your brother."
"The motherfucker. . ."
And back to the beginning, tongues intertwined, his wandering her gums, her teeth, tasting her saliva, blood rushing on the hand on the brink of heaven, her cunt. Alive and gradually drunk with the white rum, chain-smoking acrid Populares.
"Let me touch your papayita pleeasee. . ."
"You're funny, the things you say when you get horny. . ."
"Your pussy; just once. . ."
"I know. That's why I resent it so much."
"There'll come better times."
"Where, in Madriz""
"Maybe. Maybe I marry you after all, and break my back working at Galerías Preciados, and get you out too."
"No, I know better than that, when you go away, it's over: the letters that dry, and you will forget me."
"I don't marry you because I don't want to hurt you, that's why."
"I don't mind your leftovers. Guess I love you for life, nothing you can do or say can change that. That's the sad fact."
They went for the round wooden dance floor, and on the way El Químico loaded two pesetas in the Victrola, and punched their favorite tunes. The husky voice of Doris de la Torre: "Quiero decirteee cuando estemos solos. . . Algo muy profundo, 'ntimo mas bieen. . . es para hablarte sobre nuestas viidas, viidas fracasadaas. . . por la incompresión. . . Nuestras vidas puudieron ser algoo pero no sooon nada. . . se han perdido coomo la mañana se pierde en la tarde. . ."
Slowly gyrating amid the other two couples. This time it was her tongue which darted for his, up to his tonsils, lungish air sucked out of him like in a vacuum glass bell, left dying.
"Tanto tiempo disfrutaamos de este amooor. . . Nuestras almas se acercaron tanto asiii. . . que yo guardo tu sabor. . . pero tú llevas también. . . saboor a mí"
Pelvis to pelvis, she tightening her groin against his throbbing hardon.
Back at the cushions, he went for his aching penis, unzippering the fly.
"Please. . ."
"No. You know I'll never. . ."
"Please. . . "
"No, you are going to make a mess."
"I wish I were fucking dead."
"Why do you say that, it's---"
"No, you still don't understand and never will."
"I can try, who knows, later on?"
"Don't play cat and mouse with me, spare me that at least. Is it too much to ask?"
"You wanted an answer, didn't you?"
"Yes, and I guess I know by now. To a good understander few words are too many."
"You knew it all the time: I'll never be yours, at least the way you imagine it, I like you, you excite me, I could even love if I left my guard down. But I don't want to tie myself. They are better left as thoughts for a rainy day."
"Raining in Madrid of course. You're absolutely right, as usual. A rainy day in bed with a rich gallego, with your looks you can pick and choose."
"I wished people here stopped calling anyone born in Spain gallegos. . . I don't know, you're an unknown quantity."
"Like the atomic bomb."
"Precisely. What's the time?"
"Does it matter?"
"To me yes."
"Nine o'clock sharp, set my watch by El Morro cannon. I finished Fiesta, by the way. "
"How is it?"
"Great, I finished it in the park where you catch the 76, you know the one with the young man horseback and the old guy handing the torch? Just sat there in a bench and read and god, it all sounded true to life. Lived it myself through it all. That Brett, the Pamplona bulls. No matter how hard I try I'll never write anything like that. . ."
Trying to stretch the time to engage her a few more minutes: "By the way yesterday I cut an old woman, fat as a sow, the pathologist had to help me to get her out of the hook, and carry her to the table. There were about ten or twelve students crowded there in the stench of formaldehyde, some of the girls scared, and the doctor was at the other table, autopsying a young guy from Oriente, the story said 21, and one girl blushed and turned around saying, 'I have never seen that,' meaning that the guy had tremenda mandanga. Leukemia he had, and in the meantime I was cutting up that fat bitch, and when I got out the liver, it was big, and pale, too pinkish for a healthy liver, and when I put the knife on it, Jesus Christ, everybody except me and the doctor rushed out, a couple of them vomiting. What a stench. . ."
"I don't know how you can stand that job"
"It ain't so bad, the hours are good, leaves me the day almost free. I feel like Sinuhé in the House of the Dead. You know, it's the best thing next to be a surgeon, only that them stiffs are dead."
"It's time to go."
He sighed and paid the bill. Prolonging the last slippery minutes, they went over to the washrooms. The guy in the other urinal stared at his erection. Hard as he tried El Químico couldn't empty his bladder. The street door closed behind them, and the heat hit them like a blow.
"God, but it's hot."
"Like a steam bath."
"It snows over there, you know? Sometimes. Not every year."
"Yes, must be perfect. For a honeymoon and all. All you get here is three days in a house in Guanabo, if you're lucky."
"And I'd never get used to that. Even love rationed."
"Not for me, I'd fuck you three times every night."
"I believe you. A stud."
"No joke: I'm going to get laid tonight."
She stopped in her tracks. Visibly withered like a flower.
"Is that woman, isn't she? The one from Oriente? The one Iraida told me about?"
"That's the one, Nancy."
"And what do you want me to do, to jack myself when I can screw a woman? I'm human."
"Sometimes too human. You cannot resist."
"Why should I? What do I get from you but a pair of blueballs?"
"You are wrong, I don't care and I don't mind. . ."
"Do we go to a posada now? There's a small one five, six blocks from here, and I assure you it's clean."
"You want me to crash against that hard head of yours tonight, don't you? Don't spoil it please."
"Yes, exactly, at loggerheads."
"Don't rush me up, if it comes it'll come---eventually, no matter what we do."
"Yeah, destiny, but my prick hurts all the same."
"Then why do you always come back to me? Do you like to suffer, at my hands?"
"At your mouth rather, that's all you'll allow me. Poisoning me like hell."
The 37 bus was just leaving the Línea and "G" stop, and the brief run made them sweat. Too late. They waited for the 27 instead.
"Why don't we go to 'El Carmelo?' I still have plenty of money."
"No, time to go home."
"And tomorrow I have to go back to school."
he had forgotten
"Why do you? Anyway you're going away. To Spine."
"I don't know myself, guess I'll try to keep the routine to the last. By the way, happy birthday."
El Químico gazed at her amazed.
"You remembered it, I just forgot myself. . ."
"Because you are a late Cancer and I'm a Leo, that's why."
"No, but hard to mix, somebody gets hurt sooner or later."
"Most likely it must be me."
"Whatever you do, call me tomorrow. Let me know. I want to."
"Sure, if that's what you want."
"I do. Tonight was my birthday present to you; he invited me to La Torre but I turned him down. And went instead with you to that matadero, because I wanted to make you happy. . . I hope you enjoy yourself more than with me. . ."
"Your stop. . ."
She stepped down daintily through the double back door and was swallowed into the Sunday night crowd, most going to La Víbora. His stop next in front of the bakery store, but he didn't go home straightaway. Crossed once more Infanta street and went to the Piloto opposite. Stale smell of lukewarm draft beer sold in pergas, a liter each. El Químico went first to the dirty washroom. Four urinals, all busy. He pissed rum and carbonated water, the cascade going on unendingly. Relief. Smell of ammonia and cheap disinfectant. He washed his hands: no soap.
"Un litro." Golden, foamy, still smelling of hops, flowing from the tap. Retreated to a corner of the beer parlor, full of blacks from the nearby Cayo Hueso ghetto. Exchanging news about the latest robberies and sentences.
"If I reach the window I'll be in her room, and once there we fuck to death, cross my heart."
He wasn't thinking straight: slightly befuddled mind overcoming the difficulties beforehand; soft, welcome alcoholic haze coloring an otherwise frustrating day, all happiness gone by now, only desire remaining. He put Eunice and the pang of jealousy into the backburner of his mind, and concentrated again on Nancy, the prospect of coupling for the first time with a barely known female, wondering how she would look in the nude. He finished the beer, and walked uphill through San Miguel street. 11:17 PM. Manuel's bodega was closed, but behind the corrugated metal curtains he could hear the noise of the victrola, and the chatting of the men from Channel 4, playing dice poker.
Back home. Instead of using the front door he jumped the fence. He went to the "desahogo" little room, and grabbed the long, unwieldy wooden ladder a painter had left behind long ago. Javao by the name of Flores. Put it into position right under Nancy's---his Oriental Julieta's---window.
"Jesus what a fucking racket I'm making. . ."
Both mother and sister were watching a movie on the decrepit black-and-white TV, while grandmother dozed through it. Paco should be in the red-light district, and Washington at his usual daily party down there on Belascoaín street. Another barrio. Perhaps being masturbated right now by Trina's skilled fingers in some balcony. So nobody heard, maybe only Agustín, and he wouldn't talk. El Químico's tryst would be only fuel to his dying fantasies. He set the ladder, and as an afterthought, went to the bathroom, washed his teeth and made gargles of Boraseptina.
"Is it you, Chino?" Nancy's stifled incipient contralto with the weird Oriente accent.
"Yeah, it's me. Who else?"
Scraping his way through the window-sill.
"Shhh---you're making too much noise. Carmela and El Doctor are down there watching TV. Today he came three times into the kitchen, looking at me, like eating me with them eyes of his spectacles and all. . ."
"Fuck him, the creep."
"And Roberto was eyeing me too, the way he does. . ."
"Fuck him too. . ."
"Shhh---. . ."
"It's too dark in here, fiat lux."
"¿Como. . .""
"Turn on the light, I can't see anything."
She lit instead a big Chinese flashlight, and put it over again on the night table, pointing to the bed. It was a small room over the kitchen. He sat on the bed in front of an old rattling fan, and took off his shirt. Sighed with pleasure. She produced a bottle of "Castillo" rum, and put a half-full glass in his hand.
"Mi Oriental rica, you think of everything. . ."
She sat beside him, and caressed the rippling muscles on his back, the straight long black hair of his melena. He savored the straight rum, emptied the glass in two gulps, the rum like
nothing of Eunice's
molten metal running down his throat, reacting with the beer still in his stomach to make him drunk.
He kissed her in the mouth, deeply as Eunice's. Her tongue answered keenly clasping his, searching. But it was not the same. Somehow different. A guajira kiss, nothing of Eunice's elaborate ones. Something was lacking, tenderness gone, only arousal and sensuality left. He took off and threw on the floor his pants, shorts and socks, and stood in from of her, his prick defiant, prepuce retracted.
"Ay como estás. . . and how big it is. The same as in Neptuno cinema when I held it in my hand, and you moved your drawers and it got bigger and bigger. . ."
Her lips encircled the glans and her tongue performed an innocent fellatio.
El Químico raised her to her feet, and started taking off her clothes in the filmy light. The blouse, the skirt. The bra: he sucked the brown, erect, swollen nipples. And then, while she modestly covered her breasts with her arms, he slipped the blue bloomers down her legs, exposing the luxurious black bush. He appraised her with the same cool, detached professional eye he gave the cadavers on the stainless steel table. Her tummy not fat but somewhat distended. Good: that meant a short vagina. He tossed her into bed, and turned the other way around, eager for a 69. Opened her strong thighs and went straight for the clitoris, well developed, kissed it, smacking, until he felt it hard as solid rock under his tongue. He indulged on tongue tricks around her labia majoris and minoris, and the wet and moist vagina. To return to the clit itself and suck it in and out, she moaning and revolving her hips voluptuously, and at the last spasm he went for the ambarine liquid, sweet and pungent, nectar, ambrosia.
A look of amazement when he introduced his penis into her, just the glans so the air wouldn't go into her vagina, and he hoisted her legs to his shoulders in what was known in Cuba as a "palo de caballete," an easel-thrust."
"Ay Chino yo quiero asi, a mi nunca me lo habian hecho as'.
And he let himself go all the way, his sight rejoicing at her breasts, her perfect belly-button and the exposed perineum, his staff at the deepest angle possible, inch by unmerciful inch until he touched the tight membrane at the neck of the uterus. Plunging himself on a hot honey pot.
"Ay Chino cohones. . . ay cohones. . . coñó oooo, eres un salvaje. . ." she groaned. He started pumping her, teasing her, his glans almost out, only to give her another maddening thrust.
"Ay Chino, me muero. . ."
"Dámela ahora, anda, mi Chini. . . los dos juntos. . . asiiii. . ."
They both came together unendingly, and time stopped out of center and recognizable dimension, like in a perfectly rehearsed ballet at the top of the world.
Mutual repose, her head on his chest, both fulfilled but not yet satiated, other, many, orgasms were needed for that. Free from their different servitudes. He, from his addiction to Eunice. She, from her faux-pas in Baracoa and the little girl she left behind. Resting, relaxing against the wind of the old GE fan, the salt of their bodies drying, smelling the wild perfume of her sex.
When, abruptly, in ugly, starched BVD shorts and cotton undershirts, first Regalado the lawyer with his lame leg, and then Roberto, the adopted son a whore, this last with a ponderous erection, both irrupted into Nancy's room, trampling the lovers' dreams and desire. Nancy hardly had time to cover her nakedness with the sheet, leaving El Químico exposed to the elements.
"How did you come into my house? I'm going to call the police! Get out of here, you. . . you. . . and you---pointing an accusing finger at Nancy---and you, tomorrow you go back straight to Baracoa, on the first bus in the morning!"
Carmela was sobbing downstairs.
"Take it easy now, all the problem with you syphilitic old lecher is that you wanted to fuck her yourself, you gimpy creep. . . And that degenerate bastard there too. . ."
"Get out! Get ouuut!. . . Roberto, call the police. . .!"
"I've been evicted from better places, what the fuck!"
He kissed Nancy's brow, hidden under the sheet.
"So long, my sweetie, I'll keep in touch, I'll write to you; to Blanget's address at the hospital. . ."
El Químico picked up his clothes, and with all the dignity he could muster, still half-aroused, good and drunk, stepped through the window and onto the ladder. He had left it in place. Anyway the scandal in the morning was inevitable.
"Que me quiten lo bailao," was his last thought before dropping in a coma on his lonely bed, the musky aroma of Nancy's multiple orgasms deep on his belly. Hardly could he know that it would be his last throw ever, and many years hence its memories would still haunt him. ##
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