There is something illicit about hotel rooms. Anonymous and secretive. I don’t know what it is. When I was a kid I used to give myself chills thinking how far away from home I was, how disconnected I was from everything “safe.” I used to look at the people around me and think it a small thrill that no one I knew knew them. Yet, here I was, with them. I felt like I was getting away with something; that my life was in danger in a happy way.
Sometimes I wonder if that’s what it’s like to have an affair. Kisa and I were at our second hotel. He wanted to swim and I was chapters deep in my book. I agreed to read by the pool to keep him company. That really wasn’t necessary because frolicking in the deep end was a rather loud, giggly couple. It was obvious they were in the mood for more than a swim, but rude enough to stay where they were. Discretion be damned. Later, kisa told me he thought the man was married to someone else. It was the way the man explained things to his chirping companion as if they had just met, yet he wore a wedding band. Was this man really renting a room for romance? Did he really have a patiently ignorant someone at home?
It didn’t matter to me. All I wanted them to do was use the room they paid for.
There was a ‘scene’ in Stomp involving a banana. The next night there was a scene in Zumanity involving several bananas. Several provactive bananas. Comparing Stomp to Zumanity is like comparing apples to oranges, but they both had the bananas.
While nothing made me slide down in my seat in shame I wondered what I would do if someone called on me to perform. When it comes to innuendo, I want to be that girl in the front row who can take on an awkward situation. Take a big bite out of something embarrassing and come up laughing.
I want to be that girl who takes the biggest bite…And swallows, too.
I was expecting Vegas to be this scandalous, crazy, never-tell-your-mama-what-you’ve-done kind of city. I don’t know what I was picturing (people having sex in fountains? doing lines in the bathroom? stripping on dance floor?). I haven’t a clue. Here’s what I saw: people, people, people. All shapes and sizes, ages and backgrounds. People with cameras slung around their necks. People with places to go, people to meet. Men dressed for money, girls dressed for magazines. I couldn’t tell a prostitute from a tourist (unless she was handcuffed behind a cruiser). And, yes, some breasts were out (intentionally or not). Everyone walked around with a drink of some sort – some looking more ridiculous than others.
Here’s the only time I felt I was in sin city: the guys on every street corner trying to hand guys (and girls) “information” on hooker hook-ups. “Get a girl in 20 minutes…” Small clusters of dirty men (and an occasional woman) stood on every street corner flicking girly cards slightly smaller than a playing card. Waiting for the light to change all you hear is snap-snap-snap, flick-flick-flick. No one really says anything to you, just tries to get you to take a card, shoves it at you. The street corners are littered with smiling topless women…and the promise of the Vegas I imagined. The one that stays in Vegas.
She came home at five years old and said with a smile “I touched a penis.” This was like lighting a match and there were only two options. The flame dies out, the incident is forgotten on a whisp of smoke, or. Or. The match flares to a flame. Becomes an inferno of hell to come.
TruthDareConsequencesPromiseOrRepeat. I chose Dare. I just like taking dares with Yes. Sent her to her room without explanation. Where did I go wrong? My Fault for years to come. Come on baby, light my fire.
She had her first older man at eight. Fire on the Mountain. Couldn’t understand why he didn’t treat her differently. Wasn’t she special (so special, he would whisper) because of the things she let him do. Let him do to her? “IWLLBGNTLE” spelled out in Scrabble pieces. No wonder she won’t play the game. She wondered if anyone of importance would ever noticed. She was certainly teased enough about it by those who mattered less. Who would say anything? Definitely not her. Where did she go wrong. Her fault for years to come.
Virginity lost at 13. I pretended to be asleep. What’s the sense of interupting when she wants it that way? Expects it that way? A walking, talking, breathing, lying (down) slut. Talk is cheap but actions are rich – they rule the game played out. She walked away. I turned my face away from his pain. Where did he go wrong? His fault to fall in love. His fault for years to come.
They caught up to her in September. Payback’s a bitch and she felt she earned it, deserved it even. Larry, Curly & Moe. Where did you go? The taste of gin, sour on your lips. The lead of Led, heavy in your ears. She’s not here. But I am.
Her fault for years to come.
Lefcourt, Peter. Abbreviating Ernie. New York: Villard, 1997.
At first glance this humorous book is just plain cut and dried funny. Okay, bad pun. Read on and you’ll see why. Here’s the surface premise, the tip of the iceburg, of Abbreviating Ernie. Ernie and his wife are having sex. He drops dead of a heart attack. She’s blamed for his death. Here’s the just under the surface details: Ernie likes to dress in his wife clothes while having sex. He also likes to handcuff his wife and he can’t seem to “do the deed” anywhere normal. Long story cut short (there’s that pun again): Wife is found holding an electric carving knife, chained in the kitchen while hubby lies dead on the floor missing his “tommyhawk” as one character put it. All of this happens within the first twenty pages of the book so I found myself wondering what in the world Lefcourt would have say in the remaining 271.
Here’s the rest of the iceburg. Abbreviating Ernie is a commentary on the legal system, mental illness, women’s rights, the sensationalism the media can create, the Hollywoodization of a tragedy (what famous actor will portray the prosecutor?), and the exposure to human nature, often seen as failings. It’s about how warped our society can be when confronted with the dark secrets of suburbia. Yet, it keeps you laughing.
BookLust Twist: Abbreviating Ernie shows up in Pearl’s More Book Lust in the chapter on “Alabama” (p 207). While Abbreviating Ernie doesn’t take place in Alabama Pearl makes mention of Lefcourt’s book because Crazy in Alabama has an electric carving knife in its plot.
Chopin, Kate. The Awakening. New York: New American Library, 1976.
If I had a tag for “feminism” this book would be under it. Actually, it’s more of a long short story than a book. Only 125 pages long Kate Chopin tells the story of discontented, tragic Edna Pontellier. A wife and a mother she is dutiful as both until a younger man awakens her inner rebel and sex goddess. You can see it start slowly when she states, “I feel this summer as if I were walking thrugh the green meadow again; idly, aimlessly, unthinking and unguided” (p. 17). It grows stronger when she disobeys her husband, “Another time she would have gone in at his request” (p. 33). Finally, the ultimate of rebellion reaches its peak when she is seduced by another man, Arobin. “He did not say goodnight until she had become supple to his gentle, seductive entreaties” (p. 100).
BookLust Twist: While Pearl doesn’t think anything really happened with Edna (” …poor Edna Pontellier…who doesn’t actually do anything but suffers the consequences anyway.” More Book Lust, Wayward Wives p 232), I strongly disagree. What Edna doesn’t do is be a good mother to her kids (they’re shipped off while she pretends to be an artist), or a good wife. She moved out of their home while hubby’s away. He’s left making excuses to save face (said the house was being renovated and that’s why his wife took up another residence).
In the end Edna commits suicide. She knows she’s not a good mother. She knows she isn’t a faithful wife. She can’t have the man who truly awakened her sexuality. Trapped in a life she cannot conform to she walks into the sea never to emerge.