Window Sex Part IV Daphne with Her Thighs in Bark
There’s been almost too much going on this semester to even begin to describe. This has been a real whirlwind of a term. For one thing, there is my class with Professor Satin. I am majoring in Performance Art and I’m in the class taught by the famous Jennifer Satin. Very exciting.
Then earlier this term, Berkeley Hays was on campus presenting. I know you know who he is. He is of course the well-known poet but also—and probably more famous for this than for the poetry—one of the principle characters in the bestselling erotic roman a clef, Story of P. He was on campus for barely a day, a day and one night, actually. The morning of his arrival, he read in the great hall of the student union and then there was a luncheon for him open to whoever wanted to attend. In the evening there was a lecture and reading in the auditorium, followed by a reception in the Poets’ Lounge upstairs in the Union. Okay, wait, I’ll get to this. Hold your horses.
Another interesting thing is that I found out that my new academic advisor, Izamar, who replaced Sabina, is Florenz’s girlfriend (polyamorous girlfriend, of course, as you can no doubt imagine). And that she is going to publish an erotic roman a clef of her own. This one will be a sort of a prequel since it relates the events of the fall semester, before I knew her, and including all those guys performing for me in Sage’s window and also her liaison with Sabina, who was at that time my academic advisor.
Then there was Durinda O’Hare’s visit to campus. This was a big year for the Notable Artist Series on campus. Durinda O’Hare, as you of course know, is a contemporary postmodern performance artist, arguably influenced by Jennifer Satin, though I don’t believe they knew each other prior to her visit.
When Sage found out I’m in Jennifer Satin’s class, he was beside himself. “Oh my God, Elizabeth Carver, you are the luckiest person in the world!”
“Well, you know, Performance Art is my concentration. And her class this term is ‘Gender Constructs in Women’s Performance Art.’”
“I’m so in love with her! I look at her walking across campus and my heart aches.”
I pointed at his crotch. “That’s not actually where your heart is, you know.”
I know you’ve all heard of Jennifer Satin. She is world famous and our school is lucky to have her. When she was younger—she’s in her sixties now—she pioneered her own brand of performance art, sitting or standing naked in the exhibition space while the spectators passed by.
It wasn’t until a while later that I got the idea of how to make use of Sage’s infatuation for my seminar project for the class. Several people had already described their proposals for the class. One woman was portraying Mary Shelley as Frankenstein—shapeshifting between the monster and the scientist. Another proposal, of course, was to portray the great hero of performance art—Frida Kahlo posing on her back on a bed. Somebody else was going to portray Gaya Dali. Another woman was going to be the Veiled Lady of The Blithedale Romance. And another would be portraying Dame Ragnelle. But it was Sage’s enthusiasm for my professor that engendered my idea.
So we are all sitting around in Madeleine’s room—the four of us: me, Sage, Madeleine, and Florenz. Sage was going on about Jennifer Satin, describing her beauty.
“Wow,” Madeleine says, “it actually is cool how much you lust after her. I mean, she’s just about half a century older than you.” She makes a quizzical face. “Yeah, she’s what? – late sixties? And you’re 18. Good for you.”
“But how do you propose to manage this—for want of a better word—affair?” Florenz asks.
“I haven’t figured that out yet,” Sage admits and we all tell him we’ll try to figure something out.
That was February and Sage and I were spending a lot of time together. In his bedroom. Tasha, who lives in the apartment across the hall from mine and has a spare key to my apartment, would come into my place with her boyfriend Daimler and watch Sage and me through the window. Tasha is in Prof Satin’s performance art class also. So this is sort of like homework.
The Berkeley Hays events transpired in late March. There was a poetry reading and then a luncheon. I went to the luncheon and that would have been a good opportunity to actually converse with him—others were doing it—but I found myself unaccountably shy. Star struck, I guess. That evening, after his presentation in the Aud, there was a reception for him in the upstairs lounge in the student union. Berkeley was mobbed. Rather than try to engage him in conversation in the midst of the mob, I sidled up to him with a glass of wine and handed it to him as I took his empty glass away. (Then I filled his glass again and drank out of it myself.)
He was wearing a heavenly suit—conservative, trim, charcoal gray. Though I guess anything would look good on this guy. He is—oh—medium height, slender, fit, and handsome. He’s thirty-five. His hair is gray or grayish and wavy—very English Regency. Really, he is, as my advisor Izamar put it when we were discussing him as we were shuffling into the reception, “He is totally Lord Fucking Byron.”
I was dressed in a special outfit for the evening: a white, flower-embroidered huipil and my hair up in a chignon, looking terribly Frida Kahlo. And every time I switched his drink glass, I gave him a lurid smile. At least I hope it was lurid—as opposed to menacingly looney. Sometimes it’s hard to tell.
Shortly after midnight, under cover of darkness, I slinked over to the VIP suites/guest cottage, a one-story brick building with three units. Berkeley Hays was in the one on one end. I could see a light on inside. I rapped on the door and he opened it a crack and peered out at me. I couldn’t tell if he was surprised to see me or not. Well, I guess he must have been. But he’s a cool customer, if ever there was one.
“Mr. Hays,” I began. “I’m Bess Carver.” At this point, before he could respond, I pushed forward, one hand on his bare chest and pushed the door shut behind me with the other hand. We were both inside now. He was shirtless and in pajama bottoms. So far so good.
“Yes,” he said. “Little Frida.” As I approached him smiling (I know it sounds crazy now), he backed away—through the dark little entranceway/kitchenette into the softly lit main room, and then, as I planned, he fell back upon the bed. I was wearing the Mexican shift, a pair of slippers and—not one thing else. I posed before him with my hands on top of my head, showing off the tufts of Fridaesque armpit hair.
And then—voila! I had this all rehearsed. I undid a tab behind me and my shift fell in a puddle at my feet, eliciting just the reaction I was hoping for. I stepped out of my slippers and put my hands on my head again.
Then before there could be any awkward pauses, I tossed my lithe frame atop the prone poet, feeling like Claire Clairmont, to continue the Byron analogy.
I wrapped myself around him, nuzzling and kissing his face—like a puppy, I’m afraid. To his credit, he embraced me and returned the kisses. I was in heaven.
For as long as it lasted. For then there was a rap on the door. And a voice: “Berkeley,” cried a woman’s voice softly from the other side of the door. “Berkeley, it’s Jennifer.”
Oh my God! It was my performance art professor! Berkeley wriggled into a sitting position as I rolled off the bed. I grabbed my dress and scuttled into the closet. Berkeley shoved my slippers after me and I shut the sliding door of the closet, standing as I was in the corner of it, leaving it cracked so I could see the room, huddled as I was in the darkness. Professor Satin sashayed into the room and turned to face Berkeley. She stood there looking at him. “Well, well, well, my former student has made good.”
“Fern!” Berkeley exclaimed, smiling at her rather adoringly. Oh God! Professor Satin’s nickname is Fern! And I’m the only one on campus, I guess, who knows this. A revelation to be sure.
And now a scene similar to my own is reenacted. Only Fern is wearing underwear. She unbuttons her coat dress and drops it to the floor, standing now in her bra and panties and—gasp—a garter belt and stockings!
Propping her legs up one at a time, she divested herself of the stockings and garter belt. Here is when I appreciated Jennifer Satin’s appeal for Sage. Not only is she beautiful as one might say for her age, her age is part of her ripened beauty, mellow and effulgent.
Naked now, her large firm breasts with just the right amount of alluring sag. The texture of her flesh—exuding succulence in a way that a college lady’s cannot. Ripe and inviting. Her stomach and hips—not fat but exhibiting an earthy fullness.
Now, looking at her, I actually felt and still feel that I look forward to being 60 and having such deliciously ripened skin.
She pulled down the PJ bottoms and then, much as I had done (does this happen to him all the time?) pushed him onto the bed and lay atop him. I watched them as they made the beast with two backs. Then she was astride him, flying like a bull rider at the rodeo, her breasts hopping and twirling. Then on her knees as he thrust himself from behind as she grunted like a beast in heat, her fleshy udders wildly flapping and spinning. I masturbated as I watched.
My legs vibrated uncontrollably. I came twice and the second time was absolutely explosive, explosions coursing through my body, my legs shaking and jumping. It was to be hoped that I did not create an audible disturbance and as it turned out, the couple in question were too enveloped in their own orgasmic gyrations to hear mine.
At last it was over. I watched in awe as Professor…uh…Fern resumed her apparel, kissed the poet where he lay, or rather sprawled, upon the bed, and then she left the suite.
I emerged from the closet, pulled on my shift and my slippers and gazed—I have to admit lovingly—at the naked body of my would-be lover. I bent down and kissed him on the lips. He remained fast asleep. I guess that’s what happens to 35-year-old men. I went into the bathroom and took a whizz. And then left. Professor Satin was just pulling out of the parking lot. She has one of those ancient Volvos with running boards.
The next morning I was at the train station hoping to get one last glimpse of the poet as he absconded from Pleasantville. (That’s not really the name of our town: I just made that up.) What I was afraid of was that his attention would be consumed by Fern so that I wouldn’t be able to exchange a fond farewell. However, Fern didn’t show, probably because she didn’t want to let on that she was copulating with the help.
But as it turned out, when I arrived, Dean Wasserhouse was handing him his suitcase and shambled away just as I sashayed up to him. His face brightened when he saw me. “Little Frida!” he called out. “You came to see me off. Thank you.”
“The pleasure is mine, Mr. Hays.”
“I’m sorry we didn’t get to know each other better,” he said, wistfully, setting down his suitcase. “Or maybe we did, and I just slept through it.”
Standing on my tiptoes, I put my arms around him and planted a passionate kiss on the poet’s mouth. We stood embracing and kissing until the train began to huff and he released me. I picked up his suitcase and handed it to him as he turned and mounted the steps into the train car.
On the way home, just before reaching my building, passing my polyamorous neighbors' house, I saw Belinda on their front porch. It’s one of those open front porches with classical columns. She was sitting on a rattan divan and motioned for me to join her there. Sitting next to each other, we could feel the breeze from the giant elm tree that shaded the front of the house.
"I just saw Berkeley Hays off on the train," I told her.
"The poet? Really?"
"Was there like a committee or something to see him off?"
"No, actually, it was sort of just me, which is pretty funny considering what happened last night. I mean, Wasserhouse brought him there and then darted off just as I arrived. And so I went up to him and actually we…uh…."
"What? You threw your arms around him and kissed him on the lips!"
"What? I was just making a joke. You really did that? And what happened last night, Lizzie?"
I took a deep breath and then related the whole thing in detail.
"Wow, that's really a serious piece of performance art right there, isn't it?" She bit her lip thoughtfully as she is wont to do, and continued, "Though I guess you can't do that for your class."
"Yeah, not really, I guess. And the thing is, I need to have something ready in a few weeks and I don't know what I'm going to do. Last week, one of my classmates did her project on the veiled lady."
"Yeah. She—and I don't know how she did this—it's as magical as the original story—she would raise the veil and be beautiful and then raise it again and be a ghoulish, skeletonized...ghoul, absolutely repulsive. Then she would reappear as beautiful."
"Okay, Lizzie, what you need is a tableau that illustrates the female gaze. I mean, your classmate’s project is just more male gaze. Didn't you guys read that old essay from the 80s--'Is the Gaze Male?'"
"Yeah, and our productions are supposed to respond to that issue, either by illustrating how men have appropriated the gaze or else turning the tables and making the gaze female. I guess." I shrugged at this point, looking quizzically at Belinda.
"So you need a male sex object for your presentation," she told me. "And of course the obvious one is boner boy himself since--one, he's a show-off and--two, he's in love with your teacher."
"Yeah, I could give him pot to enhance his performance, so to speak."
"Oh God, you're truly wicked! Maybe you could incorporate your Kahlo getup."
"What? And have Sage be Trotsky? Or worse yet, the fat guy, Whathisname? And anyway, another woman in my class, Tasha, is posing as Frida and I'm loaning her my dress, in fact."
At this point Sari came down the sidewalk in front of the house and came up on the porch to join us, sitting in a wicker chair facing us.
"So Lizzie is needing…" Belinda began.
Sari looked at her blankly. "Lizzie? Who's that?"
I raised my hand. Belinda nodded toward me. "Bess."
"Oh," said Sari.
"Anyway," Belinda continued, "Lizzie needs a project for her class in 'Gender Constructs in Women’s Performance Art.'"
"Oh yeah, Satin's class," Sari said.
Belinda got an impish grin. "Did you know people used to call her Fern?"
"No. Where did you hear that?"
"Berkeley Hays used to be one of her students and that's what he calls her," I said. "But I need a project," I added, changing the subject.
"Well," Sari said, "You should probably make use of Sage. Because that would shift the gaze from male to female. That's your basic idea, right, from what you said before?"
"Yeah, and that's what I suggested," Belinda said.
"And Sage is in love with Jennifer Satin, so he would probably jump at the chance to perform for her," Sari added.
"So to speak," said Belinda.
"The legend of Daphne and Apollo," Sari said. "Because though it's about the male gaze, with Sage as Apollo, you could make him the object of the female gaze. I mean, most of the students in the class are women, right?"
"All of them, in fact," I said. "And that sounds good: me as Daphne and Sage as Apollo."
"Excellent," Belinda exclaimed. "Tres bien!"
I spent the next several weeks working on my project. Also helping my neighbor and classmate Tasha Meyerson with her Kahlo project. And she helped me with mine. We worked in the storage room behind the studio where the class met and kept everything covered when we weren’t there so as to make our projects a surprise.
The evening before my presentation in class, Belinda and I went to dinner at Sari and Izamar's house. They served wine goulash, tossed salad, and red wine. Sitting around their dining room table.
"I'm going to Croatia this summer," Izamar announced. "To Zagreb. To visit Sabina, who’s teaching gender studies at the University of Zagreb. You know how I love that little thing. I really miss her."
"She married that guy Hans, right?" Belinda asked.
"Yes. This’ll be my chance to get to know him too. They invited me to stay in their apartment. I am so in love with Sabina. She is the most wonderful person. A person of incredible integrity and compassion. Not to mention brilliant. So that is how I am spending this summer. And it’s coming soon. The semester’s almost over. How is your project going, Bess? When do you present?"
“Oh yeah, I guess I knew that. So you are nervous? Or not nervous? You’re all ready, I presume.”
“Oh yeah, I’m all ready and sort of relaxed but also nervous as hell. Stage fright, I guess.”
“I have confidence you’ll do great.”
“Thanks. My neighbor and classmate, Tasha Meyerson did hers last week. I helped her assemble the thing and she helped with mine. We’ve been working actually for a few weeks, at the studio where the class meets assembling our respective tableaux. I had a lot of papier machéing to do. Tasha’s project was almost as, maybe more, labor intensive as mine. It involved her posing as Frida on a bed with a mirror above her to reflect herself (the gaze as female) and she was trying to decide if she should have a baby extruding from her crotch, like the paintings. We also practiced the facial makeup—emphasizing her eyebrows and mustache—though they really are pretty good already. This all took a lot of prepping.
"Anyway, last Thursday was her presentation. There is a curtain draped across one end of the studio so that people can set up their tableaux in advance. So we had everything set up and the other students are sitting around waiting for the opening, so to speak, and then I drew the curtain back. There was Tasha, mustachioed and alluring, sprawled upon a narrow bed we had garnered from the equipment room. A large mirror on a stand we had assembled stood over the bed facing Tasha. Tasha was wearing the huipil and her knees raised and legs spread revealing a baby—a doll of course—a Barbie doll, actually—as if it was emerging, or rather peeking out of—her hitched up gown. Tasha was holding a cigarette—unlit, since smoking is not allowed in the building—and looking enigmatically blasé."
Izamar is like, "A Barbie doll!? Was that just because of availability or to achieve a certain effect?"
"Well, both, sort of," I explained. "She had a Barbie doll at her parents' house and also there is something about the notion of an adult-like doll being birthed that fits in, or so we were thinking, with the theme of the male versus the female gaze."
Belinda snorted. "Did Barbie have heavy eyebrows and a mustache?"
I laughed at this. "Nuts! We didn't think of that. That would have been good."
“And your project, Bess?” Izamar asked me. “Tomorrow! What does it involve?”
I cleared my throat and Belinda rolled her eyes over what she perceived as my hesitation.
“And that reminds me,” I announced. “I brought a special desert.” At this point in the evening, we all having finished dinner and still seated at the table, I scampered out to the kitchen and returned with a plate of brownies. I stood there with the platter in my hand. “I made two batches of these. This is the test group. The other batch is for my presentation tomorrow, an integral part, I might add. I guess I need to tell you that they are Alice B. Toklas brownies. So dig in, I guess.” I sat down and handed the platter to Izamar who sat at one end of the table to my right.” She took one and passed them on. When everybody had started eating, I asked how they liked them.
Izamar was nodding and chewing. “Really, they’re good. I like the taste—not too druggy or anything. So how do they fit into your project?”
“I’m getting to that. My presentation is a staging of the myth of Daphne and Apollo—it was actually Sari’s suggestion—where Daphne wished herself turned into a tree rather than be ravished by the lustful Apollo. The emphasis in the myth is on the inescapable sexual allure of Daphne but in my presentation it is Apollo who projects the allure.”
“That sounds like a role for Sage,” Izamar said, smirking. “I’m just guessing here.”
“Well, yes, he’s helping me out with this. I built a, well, Tasha and I, built a sort of platform/bustier for Sage and me to stand on. There is a wooden base to stand on and then there’s a hollow sort of tree trunk--we painted the thing to look like tree bark--made out of chicken wire and papier maché. I can stand in the thing and it comes up to my butt in back and in front forms a bark-like bustier that rises just above the nipples. It’s actually pretty cool.”
“I bet,” Izamar said.
“I’ve seen it,” Belinda told her. “It is really cool. And looks like a fucking tree.”
“Then,” I continued, “the platform base extends behind me and Sage will stand on that—behind me. There are even little footprints outlined so he will know where to put his feet.”
“So he hasn’t actually rehearsed this yet?” Sari asked.
“Well, he doesn’t need to. All he has to do is stand there?”
“What are the brownies for?” Izamar asked. This made Belinda guffaw in such a way that she coughed up a bit of brownie.
“Well, you know, smoking is not allowed in campus buildings,” Belinda explained. “So he can’t have a joint prior to the performance.”
Izamar made a humorous shocked face, her mouth forming a big circle.
Sari looked around blankly and asked, “So he is going to eat instead?”
“Well, they’re pot brownies,” Izamar told her. “And you know what happens to Sage when he’s stoned.”
Now Sari is making the funny shocked face. “So he’s going to be…uh…displaying himself?” she asks.
“He will be nude, yes,” I said. “Well, so will I, except that I will be ensconced in the papier maché tree trunk. This is about the female gaze, after all. I’ve titled it ‘Daphne with Her Thighs in Bark.’ And another thing about tomorrow is that Durinda O’Hare is going to be there.”
Izamar looked at me. “She’s coming to your class?”
“It’s part of her cycle of events while she’s here on campus.”
“I saw her presentation today,” Izamar said. “She was—and I don’t have any idea how she does this—lying on the floor with a short mirrored octagonal wall that rises up just below her waist and then reflects her naked upper body in eight places around the wall. It’s quite amazing. Of course there were lots of boys there since they wanted to see her breasts.”
“Well,” I said, “I saw her yesterday when she was walking up the stairs to the entrance of the Aud and my view was from behind, next to Professor Satin, and Belinda and Tasha and I were behind and below her. She is about five five with a slender, pert, trim upper torso but a lower portion that is quite formidable. The butt and the thighs! I really like the look of her. I mean, the breadth of those hips and thighs really appeals to me. Anyway, so now I want her. I hope she likes my presentation. And also if there is any chance of getting to know her better, if you catch my drift, I am hoping Fern doesn’t bugger it by moving in on her—like with Berkeley Hays.”
“Fern? Berkeley Hays?” Izamar is looking quizzically at me. “Huh?”
So I had to explain everything about my “visit” to the poet and “Fern’s” interruption. Izamar was amazed.
“Hidden depths!” she exclaimed. “I had no idea what a Peyton Place our little campus is! Which reminds me. And you’ll be interested in this. I am writing—did I tell you this already?—I’m writing a story for the dirty story website. It’s about last semester—this was before you and I met, Bess, before you were brought into the circle of our…uh…circle.”
“I can’t wait to read it,” I said.
“Well, and you’re one of the characters in it, unbeknownst to you, of course, since you were but the woman in the window back them. Maybe you would be willing to help me write it.”
I was nodding and looking at her. Izamar really is an important role model for me, just as, I guess, her mentor Sabina is a role model for her.
So I went home that night and fell asleep almost right away. Which is good so I wouldn’t have to perseverate about the next day’s performance. I needn’t have worried. The event went off without a hitch. I fed my model the pot brownies, which had the desired effect. Before Tasha pulled the curtain back for us, I turned around to see his woody, even testing it with my hand. Perfect! I really liked that Durinda O’Hare was there and of course Sage loved showing off for Fern. I was still worried that Fern would butt in on my aspirations for Durinda. As it turns out, I needn’t have worried.
After the presentation and the ensuing class discussion, during which Durinda spoke favorably of my work, I managed to corner Durinda and invite her to have dinner with me at the Oliva, the swankiest Italian restaurant in town. And she accepted, even though I had been prepared to hear her say she already had plans. But our class was the tail end of her stay on campus and she was apparently at a loose end. So I treated her to dinner and then got her to come up to my apartment for some slivovitz and also the prospect of watching Sage jack off in the window nextdoor.
So we were in my bedroom. In the dark. Drinking slivovitz and eating the rest of the Alice B. Toklas brownies. Sage’s light was out. I put my arms around Durinda and we started to cuddle. I kissed her on the lips and she kissed back. This is getting interesting. Yes. And then, once we were actually naked, Sage’s light went on!
“Here we go!” Durinda whispered, crouching at the window sill. Sage was naked, eating a brownie, one of mine presumably. When he finished it, he left the room and a moment later returned, and—Professor Satin was with him!
And then the light went out.
So Durinda and I crawled onto my bed. And then!.... Do you know what tribadism is?
[Coming next: Part V - Izamar’s Tale]