Page 64 Cause and Effect

                                         CAUSE AND EFFECT.                                                       1-10-11

                                                              Roy Garde.

As the first blossoms of spring were fading and falling in April last year I had to go the local library to check out some facts and when I was browsing in one of the Reference aisles I was suddenly enveloped in a terrible stink of human body odor.

 It was so overpoweringly foul that I had no choice but to vacate the immediate area forthwith and a minute, or so, later I saw, from the far end of the same aisle, the bearer of the stench come into view and it wasn’t a dirt encrusted old person dressed in rags but a semi-respectable woman of around twenty five whose hair needed washing and whose clothes were not ripped but certainly needed cleaning.

When she’d moved on I tentatively ventured back up and I found the book that I’d been looking for and I made some notes and then replaced the book and walked to the exit.

The reception desk was directly in front of the exit doors and a neighbor of mine, her name is Betty, was working behind it – she’s a volunteer – so I caught her eye and signaled to her to come over to the far end of the desk.

I told her how I’d been afflicted and I asked her if she knew the woman.

“How could I not? We all move way back whenever we see her coming towards us and that’s whether she’s coming in or going out. We can’t ban her from coming in here anymore because of the new law but we don’t have to exactly embrace her, do we?”

“You should ring an alarm bell! What’s her story?”

“Pooff! A man, of course.”

“A man? What? Did he attack her?”


“Did he abandon her?”


“Did he ruin her, in some way?”


“Did he break her heart?”


“Then what?”

“He married her!”

She’d say no more and I left the place in a kind of daze that didn’t lift until I had to reclaim my brain to deal with the traffic.

I didn’t see Betty again until the afternoon of our July block party which she organizes every year.

I was on my third or forth beer before I’d met my obligations of talking to all of our other neighbors and then I poured a glass of the wine that she always drinks and I took it to her and then maneuvered so as to corner her in a tiny patch of privacy.

“Tell me about the man-hater,” says I and there was no need for further explanation.

“Can’t.” says she.

“How not?”

“Can’t say.”

“Yes you can. Tell me.”


From that I knew that I wasn’t going to get anywhere with her in her present state of mind and so for the rest of that afternoon I decided to see to it that she always had a glass of red wine to hand.

When the sun had gone down and there were just a few of us left we all sat down at the table that was up on the sidewalk – by then the other chairs and tables had all been collapsed and stowed away and traffic on our street was back to normal – and we switched to bourbon and after a few glasses of it I saw that the effect of the bourbon on top of the wine that our hostess had drank before had mellowed her out so far that she was on the point of melting down into her chair. She rarely drinks to excess but at that moment, after having organized into the ground yet another successful block party, she’d earned the right to get blotto if she wanted to and she, and everyone who was still around, knew it.

I’ve been to many of our block parties so experience told me to wait a while and, sure enough, after a few more whiskeys, her husband got onto his favorite subject – vinyl siding and roofing, which is what he does for a living – and all eyes glazed over in seconds because we’d all heard his anecdotes a dozen times while once would have been enough and if that fact was true for us imagine, if you can, how his wife felt?

I eased away from him and moved into the empty chair that was next to her and to free her from her duty – having to try to show interest in what he was saying – I leaned forward on my arm so that my body was shielding her face from his view.

“Be a darling and tell me. Please?” I whispered.

“No. Nevre. I cain’t an don’ ask me agen.”


“No, I saith. Dint I say no awready?”

“Please do. I really do want to know.”

“Aw hell! How many more times mus’ I say it? – – – – – Ah, well, wha th hell, why not? It really is ineressing, you know?  Rrreally it is but mainly fo women. Well, why not, hey?- – – – D’you promisssss to nevrre telll anodder livin’ soul? Doo yoo?”

“I promise.”

“Well then – is like thisss – but you gotta promisss, mine you. D’you promissss?”

“I promise.”

“Well, then – ”

I’ll drop the slurring here because it’s almost as tedious to write as it is to read – although by now you’ll probably disagree with that.

                “Well, then – listen – I was sitting in the park one spring morning before going into the library because the tulips and the Japanese cherry trees were in flower – that must have been a week or two before you came within smell of her and then asked me about her. Right? About a week or two? Ho, but wait. How would you know that? Hey? Well, anyway. She walked by my bench and she recognized me from the library and so she stopped and veered in and sat next to me.

Now, I’m as good a Christian woman as the next one, if I do say so myself, but there’s only so much that we have to put up with and, as you know from personal experience, she pollutes the air around her something awful and staying near her is way beyond what is most peoples’ reasonable limit of charitable forbearance.

“So, before she’d even sat herself down I was close to gagging and I had to hold my breath to fight the nausea off and so, when I’d got it under control, I stood up and was walking away when she spoke –

                “Oh! Please, don’t go. I know – I really do – I can barely stand the stink myself, but please don’t leave because I‘ve just got to tell someone in authority about why I’m living like this.”

“Ha! ‘In authority!’ Me! Well, of course I was intrigued by her – always have been, just like you’ve been since you first ran into her, right? – and I wanted to hear her story but not enough to put up with the stench so I walked out of range of it and then I stopped and thought about what best to do.

“There was a nice breeze blowing but the bench that I’d ceded to her wasn’t correctly positioned to let her sit so that she’d be down wind of me and then I saw that another one, maybe thirty feet away, was turned ninety degrees from the one that she was on.

“I told her to follow me and then I walked over to it and I sat at the end that would put me up wind of her and when she joined me she knew enough to sit as far away from me as the bench allowed.

“She told me her name, which was, and is, Shirley Barnet, and she asked me what mine was.

“Then she asked me if I liked working in the library and when I told her that I was just a spare-time volunteer she said that she admired my public spiritedness and that she wished that she could do something similar because she had a ‘bent towards that sort of thing.’

“I told her that there was a big need for volunteers and she’d be very welcome if it wasn’t for – ”

“She nodded and sadness showed in her face but she also saw the opening that I’d left for her, the one that would let her tell her story, and she took it.”

“Well, let me tell you. I was overly fastidious as a young girl,“ she began. “My mother, who is an RN, often said that my finickiness was the bane of her life and that I simply had to try to grasp the fact that being alive means that down-to-earth behavior has to be not only expected but accepted as the norm too. Not without deploring it, sure she maintained, but accepting it as being an unavoidable part of life. So, I tried hard to build up a skin of indifference but then one day, as we were walking across Manhattan from Grand Central to Broadway to go to a matinee, a man in front of us hawked up phlegm and then spat it out in the general direction of the curb and then he snorted his nostrils free, one at a time of course, and both of those discharges hit the pavement just a few inches from my shoes. I started crying from distress and disgust and my mother pulled me over to the building line and she guided me behind a column to avoid our getting jostled.

“She knew that I’d been disgusted to the point of nausea by the nastiness and to try to save the day, when my crying had eased off a bit, she told me that I was to consider that the poor man might be so ill from a heavy cold or worse that he couldn’t think straight nor worry about the niceties of social behavior. She said that he was, perhaps, strangling in mucus and had to clear his airways right then and there or fall down unconscious.

“That helped to calm me a little and we walked on and I managed to put it out of my mind enough to be able to enjoy the show that we’d chosen but I could never completely forget the man’s disgusting behavior and it certainly formed the base on which many other nasty happenings that I’ve come across – nearly always by men – have sort of piled up on.

                “Being a woman yourself – Oh! – by the way, are you married and do you have children?”

“Yes to both.”

                “Well then, you must know all too well about men’s crudeness so I won’t dredge up all the things that happened to me but let me just say that when I was sixteen I went on my first date and after the movie, and a drug-store milkshake, he drove me home and when he’d parked down the street from my house he moved in on me and I tried to go along but I was appalled almost immediately because of what he wanted to do with his tongue – and, of course, tried to do with his hands – and so I got away from him and when I got home I talked to my mother about it and I was even more appalled when she told me that the boy wasn’t deranged and that what he’d done was normal behavior for a teenager!

“The next day she brought home one of those books that give general advice about dealing with boys and by reading it I got confirmation that what had happened to me was indeed general practice and that forced me to accept it but even so I decided to opt out of dating altogether even though it wasn’t very easy because all of my friends thought that I was crazy to do that seeing that they seldom talked about anything else and especially how to get dates with the half dozen hottest jocks. They all considered ‘first base’ de rigueur and ‘second base’ was acceptable for some of them and I heard two of them say that they’d go to ‘third base’ for a boy they liked if a little commitment on his part showed up.

“Well, I didn’t really understand much of it so, a little later, I asked one of them what this ‘first base’ thing was and I found that I’d already put one foot on it and seeing that I hadn’t liked it there at all I tried to close my mind as to what getting to the other bases might entail.

“College was no better for me, in fact it was worse because in the very first week my room mate actually thought that I wouldn’t mind if she let her new boy friend share her bed and without waiting for my reply they both started to get undressed there and then so I had to run out. I spent hours in the library because I didn’t know how long, uh, ‘it’ would take to get done.

“The next morning I phoned my mother and she agreed to pay extra to get me a room of my own.

“Eventually, I met a nice, quiet guy when I was a Junior and we dated for weeks without his wanting more than a goodnight kiss, which suited me fine. Well, we were invited on a weekend trip to a lake that was up-state NY and when we’d changed into bathing suits he came out of his cabana and I thought that I was going to die right there!

“His chest and arms and legs and his back were covered with what I can only call pelts of black hair! Like a bear! I couldn’t possibly stay with him even though we’d come up in his car. Wow, the very thought of – – – well.

“I had to hitch-hike my way to the nearest town that had a train station even though I’d never, ever, liked even the thought of asking strangers for lifts but on that day I would have accepted a ride on a – – – – well, on a garbage truck.

“After seeing that hairy grossness my brain wanted to opt for rejecting every thing to do with men to avoid the coarseness that, it seemed to me by then, was present in all of them but unfortunately my body couldn’t go along completely because it was being influenced more and more by my stirring hormones.

“Well, my brain lost the battle shortly after that, when I was still a Junior, because I met a man who my body badly wanted to, uh, lie with and have his children! As an illustration, my knees nearly buckled when he held my hand the first time. I really wanted him in my life and I determined that I’d do nearly anything to get him there.  

                “I’d first noticed him one day when our whole class was waiting in a lounge for our bus to arrive that would take us to the Met and I saw the other guys there ogling a Playboy centerfold and when they passed it to him, Keith Harrison was his name, he passed it on to the guy next to him without much more than a glance – and with no oafish, sexist comments either – and none of the others laughed nor called him names for doing that so I knew that he had their respect.

“I was the only one in the group who had thought to bring along a biography of the painter whose works were in the exhibition that we were going to see and when we got there we all saw that his stuff was so strong, and at the same time so appealing, that everyone wanted to know more about him the minute that they laid eyes on his paintings.

“I craftily maneuvered so as to be alongside Keith before I brought my book out and when I let him, and only him, see what I had he couldn’t help but ask to be allowed to read it and so I told him to follow me over to a nearby bench.

“A half dozen questions and answers, both ways, was all it took for us to know that we shared many interests and we stayed together all afternoon and he sat next to me on the bus going home and our words never stopped flowing.

“He called me the next day and we went to the movies and when he put his arm around me and kissed my cheek I found it easy to turn my head so that he could kiss my mouth.

“We became a couple from then on and we gradually got closer and he soon got to know my breasts better than I did! There was no way that I could find it in me to deny him the huge amount of pleasure that he got from feeling them but I was pleased that he never tried for anything else. We got stuck on second base – well, maybe we took a few steps towards third now and again but never seriously.

“Well, it was made very clear to me by friends that ours was an unusual state of affairs for a couple to be in but I guess that by letting him know right at the beginning of our relationship as to what my attitude on promiscuity was I’d stopped him from, uh, trying to coerce me into doing, uh, things for him.   

 “We met each other’s parents on the next spring break and after that everyone knew that we were serious about each other.

 “When we graduated and had both found jobs in the city we commuted together and we came under pressure from all around to get married and we eventually succumbed to it and we had a conventional white wedding.

                  “Well, my mother had taken me to her Gynecologist a few days before the wedding and I’d been instructed by her about how and when to take the pill and on the drive home again it became obvious that my mother had assumed – she told me much later that she had done so because, ‘young people today all do it, so I’m told,’ – that we had already been to bed together many times. She told me, aiming for a ‘buddy to buddy’ talk I guess, that I’d find that not having to use condoms anymore would greatly enhance the pleasure for us both and that I would therefore be in a position to “uninhibitedly do whatever your Keith wants you to do for him and him to you” when it came time for it on ‘the night’.

“Well, we went on a hugely expensive honeymoon because his parents had given us the choice of three to pick from and had then booked that one for us and had, at the reception, handed us an envelope with the plane tickets and the hotel reservations in it.  

“In the hotel room I went into the bathroom and got out of my clothes and into a filmy nightgown and a diaphanous robe and when I came out Keith was already in bed.

                “I put the overhead light out and slipped the robe off and then got into bed next to him but I had to pull away from him almost at once or he would have ripped both my nightgown and my panties off and when I’d taken them off and had rejoined him his hands went wild and his lips followed them over most of my body.

                “Because it was Keith and because I was by then resigned to the knowledge that it’s my gender’s unhappy role to do the submitting and because, I admit, of my having some curiosity about the act and because I had little in the way of alternatives anyway and because my mother had said so and because it was all perfectly legal – but not because I expected to get the least bit of pleasure out of it – I took up whatever position that he asked me to and I did whatever he asked me to do and I didn’t balk, or even object, when he intimated that I was to handle his, uh, his genitals. He made it obvious that he wanted me to caress them but all that I could manage was to gently touch the several parts. Well, my touch made his – uh – his thing get to be frighteningly big which was intriguing but it also made it decidedly less appealing to me rather than more.

“Well, I lost count of how many times we did it over the two weeks in that hotel and although it soon stopped hurting I never got much out of it and everytime that he speeded up just before ejaculating I hated the fact that I was expected to not only stay wide open for him but to try to help him to complete the transfer of his nasty fluids. You know, no matter how many times we did it I could never so much as think of resting after doing it until I’d rid my body of the smelly stuff.”


At this point her revelations came fast and furious but I’m going to leave the details out for reasons that you’ll soon come to understand.

So. I’m now going to continue to relate her saga from the final day of her honeymoon as re-told to me by Betty –

 “Well, the whole two weeks had been terrible for me but then came the final degradation.

“We were flying home and although he’d insisted on doing it to me as recently as that morning after breakfast – while we should have been packing to leave – he told me that he ‘wanted some of you’ – as he put it, crudely – right there and then on the plane and, I guess because he’d become accustomed to having full access to a woman’s body at all hours for the first time in his life, he was insistent about my going into the toilet to take my panties off and so, to placate him, I did so. When I came back to him he spread a blanket over our legs and then he turned his back so that the other passengers couldn’t see what he was up to and he started feeling me up.

“Because of my new position his finger easily found – what I was told by my mother later was my G spot – and I was transported in spite of myself with the strange, intense and abrupt pseudo-orgasms. Keith was delighted with finding the newly discovered power that he had over me that he had heard about but had never been able to locate in the hotel – it seems that the woman, it’s true for me at least, has to be sitting down and not lying down – and so he waited barely ten seconds after each of my spasms had eased off before his finger went on the search again. I had to bite down on a pillow at appropriate times to keep from crying out!  

“And then, as if what was happening to me wasn’t humiliating enough already, came the disgusting part.

“After a while, over and above the unwelcome – but exciting in spite of myself – losses of control, I began to smell something that was even viler than his semen had been and I came to realize that it had to be coming out of me because his finger was the only part of him that was touching me and then, at about that same time, I noticed that the other passengers started to raise their faces to sniff the air and then they all gradually zeroed in on the fact that the vileness was coming from my direction!

“That was it for me! Absolutely and undisputedly the end! I was mortified. I pushed his hand away and then I re-arranged my skirt and then threw aside the blanket and I went back into the toilet to both escape from the people’s stares and to deal with what was coming out of me.

“When I’d douched a dozen times I started washing and rubbing my whole crotch area but after fifteen minutes or so of that I had to stop because I’d rubbed myself raw and so I made a pad with some perfumed tissue paper and I put it inside my panties.

“When I got out of there I found a Flight Attendant and I asked her to let me use a different seat – we were in Business Class and it wasn’t full so such a thing was possible – and I sat there for the rest of the flight and refused to even acknowledge Keith when he came over and tried to apologize.   

“When we landed I had to go through immigration with him but when we’d dealt with that I gave him the ticket stubs and I told him that he was to get my bags and his own and put them in his car and take them to his home and then bring them to my parents’ house whenever it was convenient for him but ‘not for a week or so, please, because I won’t be able to bear the sight of you before then.’

“I took a taxi all the way home and my mother and father took one look at my face and didn’t dare to question me about my sudden and unscheduled re-appearance on their doorstep.”

                Betty looked up from the table to say, “She stopped speaking then but I knew that there had to be a final declaration so I held my tongue and I was proven right.”

“So. Now you know. That’s my story. Now you know why I haven’t bathed or changed my clothes since then and although my parents make me live in the trailer in the back yard my plan is working well because it keeps all men away from me and that’s very definitely how I want it to be for the rest of my life.”

               In the silence that came at the end of her account I heard her husband start to tell a story that was new to me and because of that I thanked her for her story and then I went over and sat next to him.

               I’d realized that because it was a new one he had clearly exhausted all of his over-used standard stories and so it was likely that the new one would be the last one and the party would break up after it. Also, I hoped that by sitting next to him, and encouraging him and applauding him when appropriate, he’d remember that part and forget that I’d been paying a lot of attention to his wife in the preceding hour or so. Another ‘also’ was the fact that that was where the whiskey bottle was.

               His new story was about how he’d left a hole in a roof that he’d recently been hired to repair so as to leave access for a squirrel that had built a nest in there! It was such a mind-bogglingly unprofessional thing to do that he would have never told it, of course, if he hadn’t had a whole lot of bourbon in him which, as it tends to do universally, had turned everyone in listening distance into bosom buddies of his who wouldn’t so much as think of causing harm to his livelihood by retelling the story.

              Besides the above mentioned reasons for my moving away from his wife there was also the fact that she had finally told me all of the details of the story that had intrigued me for months but, on top of that, she’d been working since mid morning, in the hot sun, to get things ready and that, combined with the fact that she’d done most of the cooking throughout the afternoon, saw to it that she stank of stale sweat and of smoke and her hair reeked from having absorbed fumes from the dozens of hamburgers and the scores of hot dogs – and the several steaks that, somewhat peculiarly in my opinion, individuals had brought for their own consumption – that she’d cooked on the charcoal grids.

               Also – although the gentlemanly part of me is uneasy about disclosing this part – she’d been thorough about relating even the most lurid parts of her story – the most intimate parts of which I’ve edited out because the amount of wine and whisky that I’d plied her with had obviously dulled her inhibitions enough to let her pass on to me some remarkable descriptions that the subject of the story had told her regarding the goings-on on her disastrous honeymoon that only women should know about and they included her thoughts on seeing her husband, ‘A grown man, imagine!’ wanting her to, and having her do so repeatedly, position her body so that he could rest his head and contentedly suck on one of her nipples for minutes on end. Her thoughts on that behavior were so caustic that I’ve never done it since!                     Also there were comments of hers on frotting and on anal sex and on oral sex, especially the sixty nine position – clearly her husband was either a quick learner or was far more experienced than he’d admitted to before they got married or, more likely, he was an avid internet porno fan who took copious notes – that were so witheringly emasculating that since then I’ve only been able to indulge in those activities when my lower brain has taken over complete control of what is going on between the sheets.

             Yet another reason for moving away from her was that as she was describing the lurid parts it became evident that alcohol strengthens her libido – it does the same thing to mine but it dulls my physical urges a great deal which is just as well otherwise, around a halfway through the story, I would have had to get my wife to, “Say goodnight, Gracy,” and then I’d have had to say-goodnight-gracy her home and straight up the stairs to our bedroom – because her mouth slackened and her eyes took on the vacant, staring look that comes with lust which showed me, and only me of course because I was still shielding her from the others, that she was indulging herself by, instead of merely reiterating the stories, she was living them – what actors call, ‘getting into the part,’ I think – and that became even more obviously the case when she started to – imperceptively she believed, of course – slowly move her bottom forwards and backwards on the seat of her chair to make her underwear pleasure her by applying, and then relieving, applying and then relieving, pressure to her genitalia which, in turn and eventually, caused a certain unmistakable odor to ease out of her that was indisputably the same one that had disgusted and appalled the poor woman on the plane so badly that she’d become an implacable life-long man hater ever since.

             As I’ve said, most of the things that she passed onto me was the ranting of a sick woman and only women should know about most of it so I won’t repeat them here and to show you why I shouldn’t here’s a snippet –

            “After a few days I got so used to being abused that, I suppose in self-defense, I switched to wanting to like it and that led to my actually liking it and so I found myself thinking up ways to help him to use me even more brutally. For instance, although every time that he did it to me he bruised my labia and stretched my vagina to the breaking point just before pumping his sperm way up inside me I began to, voluntarily, use my mouth and other parts of my body, whenever he showed signs of wanting to go at it again, so as to get him bigger and harder hoping that when he did it to me the next time he’d pulverize my labia and he’d strain my vagina so much that my body would split in two and his sperm would penetrate my body so deeply that I’d be able to taste it!”

             There. Do you agree that I should keep the rest to myself?

             So, there you have it but don’t you find it interesting and passing strange that all women, at all times, abhor the pungent, earthy odor that emanates from their core when it has been stirred up, or otherwise stimulated, and that all men find the same odor repulsive too except for the one responsible for generating it and that’s because the message that he’s receiving from the deepest, most primitive and innermost part of his brain-stem is coming in loud and clear that pungent earthiness is the ideal environment for the seed that he has transferred, or is about to transfer, ownership of and thus, for him alone, the odor is ambrosial rather than effluvial.