At 10 A.M. August 24, 1988 Faith and I were in the kitchen talking.
“Mom used to buy me the neatest lingerie from when I was about 12 years old,” she said. “It was like she wanted me to have sex.”
“You mean that?”
“No. Not really. Not like that.”
“Dorothea does seem even more ambivalent than most people about sex. You do too. Sometimes you seem to assume it’s almost always natural and beautiful and then you’ll talk about it a minute later as though it's almost always dirty and contemptible.”
“It was so funny. Spider was at our house and this girl was touching him where she shouldn’t." (Spider was the drummer in Throck's band.) “She wasn’t even his girlfriend and his girlfriend was right there. And I walked up behind her and put my arms around her with my hands on both her breasts,” Faith was laughing at the memory, “and said, ‘You’ll have to go through all us girls to get to him.’ She didn’t like it!”
Flirting in the kitchen at the farm. I put my right arm around Faith’s back, drew her toward me, and pretend-nipped her nipple through her shirt.
She stepped back and, mock-shocked, said, “That wasn’t very nice,” but then made a show of reconsidering, “or, yes, it was rather nice.”
As usual I doubted the wisdom of my sex play with her. “I'm glad you liked it. I'd wish I hadn't done it if you hadn't--and probably if you'd liked it too much, too. I imagine you saying in sixty years, 'I worked for a paralyzed man who used to snort cocaine and lie around in front of a mirror with a hard-on and every 45 minutes I'd go into his room and give him more. One morning he nipped my nipple. . . . I loved him. Taking care of him was maybe the best job I ever had.'"
"That was funny yesterday in your room," she said. I had been in my chair and she'd been lying on her back on my bed with her ankles and feet hanging over the end. Her legs had been slightly spread. "When you said you were going upstairs to watch a movie and you'd check on me in 45 minutes."
Night. I'd known through my long wait to speak to someone that if I did, when I did, I'd then have to write the scene, the more or less forgotten scene if Love Note were like Evol, my unfinished novel about me and Jane in which none of the climactic scenes was ever written; I'd been as unable to remember what we'd said as I'd been unable to write what we'd needed to say. All the key Evol scenes that I'd tried to write, I'd botched. (Had I? Had I even tried? I wasn't sure I had.) With Jane, I could be myself and respond to her. When I had to be both Arthur and Jane, be Writerfellow, I'd failed to measure up to either. Would I do better in Love Note? At the very least I was determined I'd try. Lately, for at least the past year, when I read of a human learning, a human trying, I'd cried. I'd recently cried all through The Magnificent Spinster because May Sarton's people try so wonderfully. Life is more than art because it includes art, and life without art is less than human life can be; each life is an ironic masterwork, and perseverance furthers.
After Faith had placed the mirror tonight she said, "What are you writing," and I began, finally, to say the things I’d never said. I talked about Marjorie and of my learning to feel with her; talked of last summer and my knowing I'd found my subject and could write about it; talked about then finding I couldn't write or even speak of it. Faith said she'd known, untold, the nature of what I was working on and had always wanted to help me with it. I had all along hoped she felt this way but felt it wrong unquestioningly to assume it. As she reassured me and I told my story, I allowed myself to use my hand to keep my penis hard.
When she went upstairs my hard-on was vertical; I knew I had to try to tape for Writerfellow: I feel blessed, though wish I'd had the tape going the past 40 minutes as I finally talked to P. A minute passed before I spoke again. "I'm like an adolescent," I said to her. "I'm a 50-year-old man excited like a 15-year-old boy." When I said adolescent, she threw her head down on the bed, laughing, happy; straightened and hugged me as I leaned towards her. She talked about herself and I listened. Oh, I wish the tape had been going, but when I found the time to talk had come I talked, relieved and excited, undeterred by its absence.
A half minute passed silently. She said the sex I am having, feeling, is, despite the cocaine, good, that I need to feel it and she is glad I feel it. I told her I had never exposed myself to anyone as I have to her. When I said that most of what I write doesn't hold my attention long enough for me to finish it but that, even though I've had so much trouble getting going, I think this will, she was gleeful. All she can write that holds her interest, she said, are sexual stories. When I said it seemed to me that I treated her and Throck as though they are realized sexual beings although I feel certain they are not, she laughed, acknowledging they aren't. She willingly collaborates with me. We are gifts to one another.
Now I must put the recorder down and feel.
I did so, took the cumbersome black box from my shoulder and lay it next to me on the bed. A few minutes later, I picked it up again. My breathing was heavy, and I whispered, Thank you, Faith, thank you.
Soon she returned to see if I needed anything. I left the recorder on as I pulled myself up on my arm. (I could be heard doing another line on the tape.) How good I felt cannot be exaggerated. I had found my surrender, explicated my predicament and quest, and been explicitly accepted by my witch guide for better and for worse. After Faith had given me another line and we had smoked and talked more, she spread my legs again. My penis was still vertical. She was going to take a shower and look in on me a last time before she went to bed.
When I had realized that not asking Dee to set me up had been a failure to trust her, I had not realized that my reticence with Faith was analogous; I had not, till now, truly befriended her; if she'd been wooing, she had won. I had been uncertain of her feelings but she too had been guessing mine; at last we knew, and knowing felt completely new and definitely better.
After she had gone to bed for the night I taped more notes: As Faith showered I stroked myself and imagined I would continue doing so when she opened the door; imagined she would see my hand moving on my penis as I said, "Thank you, I love you, goodnight." But when she opened the door and I told her I was fine, my hand slipping up and down my stiffened shaft, she laughed and asked if she could call Throck in Tucson.
Telling the story to the funky old tape recorder, I sounded boyishly surprised. I laughed and said, "I can't be doing this while you call Throck."
"It's yummy," she said. "I'll just keep my back turned."
She dialed Throck's number, her back to me, surer, as usual, of my innocence than I.
"I don't think he's even home," she said, listening to the rings. She hung up the phone, kissed me goodnight, and asked me if I wanted to do another line. She'd already asked when I wanted to wake up tomorrow, and I'd said noon; and she'd already seen me stay rock stiff while she was here earlier, as ahh--(my voice broke as I was saying "as," and I came strongly; as I struggled to continue speaking, I came twice again)—I ahhhh still ahh am.
Then, conversational, reflective: What a beautiful day it's been. I am ecstatic that this night, so long in coming, has come at last.
It was after midnight. I pushed my extra pillows to the floor, lay back, and turned the light out, felt Anne ease her weight onto me. Violet knew Anne loved her. "Anne," I said to no one (and to her and all of you). "Anne." The verticality of my erection never had been more prolonged, the feeling more intense. I slept before dawn.
This was the second half of the last chapter of LOVE NOTE. To access the Epilogue click here.
To go to the THE HEALING & LOVE NOTE DISCUSSION FORUM click here. I want to hear almost anything you are willing to say.
Edited by Coach, 03 September 2006 - 03:11 PM.