Page76 Oh, dear! How I

               OH DEAR! HOW I WISH YOU HADN’T TOLD ME THAT.                             4-4-11

                                                                 Roy Garde.

 I was sun-bathing on the Caribe Hilton’s private beach in Puerto Rico one afternoon – if you knew me you’d have realized at once from that statement that I was on the island on a business trip and thus shielded by an expense account from the pain of having to pay four hundred bucks a night, which was the billing rate of an ordinary room there, and from having to pay eighteen dollars for a Don Q on the rocks when you could buy a whole bottle of it down the road at a corner bodega for around fifteen – and I was alone because my wife had gone shopping in Old San Juan with a woman she’d met the night before in the casino.

When I’m in a hot country I only work for four or five hours in the morning of each day so I usually go shopping with her after lunch but I didn’t on that occasion because I don’t like what they’ve done to the old city.

I have fond memories of it when it was dirty and dangerous and had one and two story houses that had charm and warmth and character. Nowadays the whole area is clean and safe and has been rebuilt to the extent that it actually has an ugly looking hi-rise parking facility where once there’d been an intriguing little square surrounded by art galleries and stores that sold quality goods and, at night, a whole string of night clubs came alive and let light and good music escape out and into the warm air. They’ve left only one street as they’d all been once – and had been for hundreds of years before the nearly complete desecration that now surrounds the central square – that is, paved with distinctive blue, polished ‘ballast’ bricks and lined with chipped and stained but natural looking façades on white-washed low-rise buildings. For me, leaving that one street ‘as is’ seems to mock what once was and should be still but never will be again.

I’ve learned to never comment on it to native Puerto Ricans because when I did so once I got the debilitating reply, “Yes, but I’ll choose safety over charm any time, thank you.” An answer that left me speechless with regret and disbelief and suppressed rage but I knew better than to say anything in reply because they do, after all, live there.

I’d rented a cushion for my chaise longue, along with a colorful umbrella to keep the ice in my vodka tonics from melting too quickly, and when I came back to it after a cooling swim in the little bay I found that two very attractive local women – I could only presume that was so up to then because they both had lustrous long, black hair and dark eyes but it soon proved out that I was right – who were both about twenty-five years old had already placed their towels on the sand to one side of me and were well along with claiming the spot by positioning their bags, and whatever else, around the edges  preparative to settling down.

I was excited to see, actually I saw that detail before I noticed the color of their hair and eyes, that both of them had thong swimming suits on and what the thongs were separating, while not even making a pretence of covering, were formidable indeed.

And there they both were, there all four of them were come to that – in real life – not even six feet away from me!

When they’d finished bustling and spreading sunscreen on themselves and on each other they laid themselves down with their heads only a foot or so apart.

 I put my mirrored sunglasses on, happy that I’d brought that particular pair with me that day, and then I too lay back and I positioned my head so that their marvelously bare bellies and haunches were directly in my line of sight. With them there, front and center, and with a background of tall, swaying palm trees along with the sweeping curve of the beach and the massive rock pier and the well behaved, metronome-regular, whooshing and then swishing little white foamed waves coming in from the blue sea I was hard pressed to think of what could possibly be added to improve the vista. I knew that there were bona-fide flamingoes – I don’t expect you to believe that but it’s true, so help me – over to my right and standing mostly on one leg but I made no attempt to move my head to bring them into the picture because they were eclipsed all to hell by truer and more immediate softness and roundness and pinkness.

The two women didn’t pay a bit of attention to me because in Puerto Rico, and throughout the Caribbean, over-weight and over-fifty and over sun-burned men are dismissed out of hand by the natives as ‘camarones’ who, they thank the good Lord, have a seemingly insatiable need to soak up the sun to the point of being par-boiled. However, they are tolerated everywhere because they are, nearly invariably, carriers of prodigious amounts of lovely green backs and they know how to spread them around.

I fit the above description to a ‘t’ so the two women totally ignored me but they would have certainly moved out of earshot if they’d known that at one time, for a total of eight years, I’d lived and worked in several Latino countries and I speak their language.

For several minutes I was content to feast my eyes and so I let most of their catching-up history slide by me but I registered some hard facts: They’d gone to high school together and to a college in Maryland and one of them had married a few months after graduating and was living in Mexico with her husband and two children and the other one was single and living in Manhattan and was working in PR for a publishing company and they’d both come ‘home’ to attend the marriage of a close, mutual friend.

I let a lot of their complaints – how hard and dangerous it’s becoming to live in Mexico City and about how high the rents for tiny apartments in Manhattan are – go in one ear and out the other but when that had been dealt with they started reminiscing on how good the sex had been in college, “Yes! Young and free at last of this up-tight Island with its stupid restrictions. Can you believe that when we were in high school we couldn’t even go to the movies without a chaperone!” and so from then on, seeing the way that this was going, I paid better attention and I strained my ears so as to not miss a word.

It turned out that although they’d been very close they’d still fought over various lovers, studs from Annapolis were mentioned several times, and, after giggling about a guy that they’d shared called ‘El Robusto,’ they moved on to discuss the state of their present sex lives and ‘how much of it’ they were getting currently.

The married one was very unhappy with her lot. She said that ‘it’ only happened two or three times a week and that it was all over in a matter of minutes every time. She said that she is always pleading with her husband, Ricardo, to please take time to deal with her needs and he always apologizes and, “says that he’ll try to remember next time. But does he? Ha! Nooooo.”

She said that things weren’t much helped by her having to go to bed early every night through sheer exhaustion and so, “when he comes up, ‘looking for some,’ and has to wake me up it’s more like just another chore for me for a few minutes and then – too late, it’s all over already! And when the kids are at their grandma’s on a Sunday afternoon and I’m rested and we have all the time in the world I won’t let him take my panties off until he promises to go slowly but about ten seconds after I’ve made him get really hard he always says something like, ‘Ay Dios mio, carino, No puedo esperar mas. Por el amor de Dios abreme y aceptarlo.’ And about five minutes later he’s looking to get up and get dressed and go out with his friends to drink beer!

“God in heaven, Gloria, remember how it used to be? How alive we felt when we got that first kiss when we knew that we were going to get laid in a little while and so we could let it all out and happily go through the stages. How was it again? Ah, yes. Welcoming the guy’s tongue in our mouths and reciprocating and then ‘letting’ him feel us up and how we could gauge his coming performance by how fast he could undo our bras with one hand? Ha! And remember that delicious moment when we’d have to lift up to let him take our panties off? Oh, man. How I miss those days – – – – and, d’you know what the worst part of it is? It’s that I’m pretty sure that I’ll never see anything like them again. Never. I’m stuck with one man and that’s going to be it for the rest of my life. Oh, what a fool I was to get married so early.”

 Gloria, the one with the job in New York, commiserated and said that not only did she remember but she was still experiencing all those wonderful things nearly every night in her apartment in Manhattan!

“No way! Every night? Nooooo.”

“ ‘Nearly every night’ I said. I always keep the weekends for myself. But you know what, Martha? I really do feel bad for you because there’s no way that I could go through life without having lots of good sex. For me, nothing can compare with it and so I’ve fixed it so that I get some at least two times every night from Monday to Friday and sometimes more often than that.”

Martha scoffed when she heard that – Hell! I almost snorted in derision myself – she said, “Ay bendito, Gloria. Que paquete!”

That challenge to her veracity put Gloria in the position of putting up or shutting up and so she took a minute to decide which way to go.

It evidently came down heads because I saw her square her shoulders and then she sat up as she said, “Pues, escucharme muchacha.”

She evidently wanted to look into her friend’s eyes before starting her spiel because she rolled her hips marvelously, from my perspective, to get into a position where she could do so.

 She told her that she’d gone out on dates in the usual way when she’d first moved to Manhattan and they nearly always went through the stages that she’d talked about when they were in college but after a few months of doing that it got to be too sporadic for her so she decided to try to find a more permanent relationship.

She said that she didn’t doubt that her first ‘live-in’ boyfriend would have followed the same pattern that she – Martha – had just described as being her husband’s regular behavior between the sheets if she – Gloria – had let him get away with it. She said that the first time that it became obvious that he had the gall to want to use her bed to do nothing but sleep in – a month or so after he’d moved in with her – she couldn’t believe it for a minute or two but when she had to accept it as being the truth she burst into tears and demanded that he leave her apartment right then and there. For good.

  And then, when the second one showed signs of doing the same thing, she ousted him too and with that she realized that she’d have to do something radical if she hoped to have what she could call a satisfactory love life.

She found it difficult to accept the horrible fact that men, “Quickly get accustomed to a woman, no matter how good she is in bed, and, no matter how hard it is for us to understand, they lose that burning, overwhelming need to couple that is taken to ridiculous lengths on the first few meetings whereas, speaking for myself, I never lose a deeply imbedded need to do it just about any time and in nearly any place where the opportunity arises.  For me,” she went on, “a dick – ‘El monstruo de la noche’ – is a dick as long as the guy knows how to use it properly and wants to use it often enough to suit me.”

She decided to try not letting a keeper – ‘con esto me quedo’ – come and live with her but just stay the night on a regular basis, the extent of which would be determined by his proven recuperative ability. That was her plan but, without exception, they’d storm out nearly bereft of speech, when she told them what her parameters were and none of them called her again.

She knew that she’d have to give up on that idea so she experimented with spacing out subsequent lovers by using the hoary ploy of telling them, “Sorry honey. It’s that time of the month.” For her, that method proved to be totally unsatisfactory because it meant that she found herself sleeping alone for three nights in a row and, besides that, she couldn’t over use it because, “Although men know very little about women’s bodies they do know that our monthly’s, – ‘llegar de la regla’ – are supposed to happen only once every four weeks!”

So, she’d been forced to give up on that idea too and although she’d always been a ‘one-man-at-a-time’ woman she became aware of the fact that she’d have to consider changing her policy.

By this time, she went on, she’d learned how to pick up men easily and so getting dates wasn’t a problem.

Luckily for her she was living in an apartment building that had no doorman and because of that, coupled with the fact that her neighbors weren’t in the slightest bit interested in her social life, she knew that the comings and goings to her apartment wouldn’t get her a bad reputation and so what was there to stop her from inviting different men home on different nights?

She tried out several methods of spacing her new lovers out but in all of them the mental record-keeping required to do so proved to be too much for her until she happened upon the perfect way to control them which was: To manipulate their egos and their silly macho self-images so that they worked in her favor.

She said that she’d happened upon her by now tried and proven method – ‘Un methodo  probado’ – by  chance.

One evening, she’d only just stopped herself in time from telling one of her favorite guys, who had a four day recovery cycle, that he couldn’t come to see her for the following three nights because she had to go to Maine, “To see one of my friends who is in hospital,” when she remembered that she’d told him something like that the week before so she adroitly turned on a dime – ‘cambio de idea inmediato‘ – and told him – ‘Uh, Darling, you’re so marvelously big and you used it so actively last night that I’m really, really sore inside and I’ll need all of three days and nights, at least three days and three nights, to recover enough to, uh, to be able to enjoy it properly and respond correctly to your expert love-making when you come to see me next time.’

“It worked like a charm – ‘salio de oro.’ “

Later on, when she was musing at work, she realized that that was the key and that if she used it cleverly enough she could arrange her affairs, as it were, so that she’d have a proven, ardent, well rested, competent, reliable man in bed with her every night

After her revelation whenever she found a guy who measured up and fitted nicely inside her parameters, she’d tell him, just before he left her in the morning, that he was a wonderful lover but she was sorry to have to tell him that she could only see him once a week because, “You’re much too big for me and far too vigorous and you’ve made me really sore inside after only one night so I shudder to think how much I’ll be hurting if we do it more often than that and, as you’ll understand I’m sure, if that happens I won’t be able to enjoy your marvelous efforts to please me nor will I be able to reciprocate properly and we don’t want that, do we?”

By cleverly manipulating her time, and that of her lovers, in a few short months she found herself in the happy position of being able to welcome an invigorated, and invigorating, man into her bed every weeknight and she found it easy to keep score – ‘recordar el dia’ – by assigning a day to each man’s name and always thinking of the two as one. It became, ‘Evan Monday’; ‘Harry Tuesday’; ‘Brian Wednesday’; and so on.

She said that she was delighted to find out that there was an unexpected and very welcome bonus built into her plan in that, above and beyond – ‘mas  alla del deber’ – all the lovely loving that she was getting she also got many presents and heaps of flowers and was taken to fine restaurants and shows regularly because her beaus all thought that their designated nights were worthy of special treatment and, not a bit coincidently, they always had plenty of time to plan ahead for them.

Yet another bonus for her was that because her needs were being met so completely it showed up in her general health and made her positively bloom and, when she’d changed her wardrobe to exploit that fact, all of her men wanted to be seen in public with her.

She wasn’t snobbish and she was astute and so, to lessen the risk of being seen by, say, Wednesday’s guy when she was with, say, Monday’s guy, she was equally pleased with being taken to expensive places for drinks and dinner by the rich ones as she was with being taken to a local bar, and then on to a modestly priced restaurant to eat, by the poorer ones.

No matter where they were they all tried hard to please her, which was nice, and they all had a trait in common that amused her every time that she saw it. They’d get antsy towards the end of the meal, or the show or the concert, or whatever, and they’d start thinking of little ways to hurry things up so as to be able to leave and take her home and get into her bed, and into her, sooner. Their antics, which they thought to be surreptitious, not only amused her they also suited her because, no matter how good the occasion was, getting to be horizontal with the guy was always the best part of the night for her, by a long shot ‘

She had shrewdly picked a rich guy, ‘Carlos,’ to be Mr. Friday because on that night they could both stay out as long as they wanted and go on to a nightclub, maybe, to dance, or whatever, and it got to be their custom to make savage love when they got home and then, in the morning, stay in bed as long as it suited them and then get in some of the languid, leisurely loving that she liked for the contrast.

They’d go out for brunch together and when he left her afterwards she’d have the rest of Saturday and all of Sunday to do her laundry and to clean her apartment and relax and catch up on her reading and call home and talk to her friends and all the rest of it.

Gloria stopped speaking then and she took a minute to look into her friend’s eyes, perhaps hoping to not see any animosity in them and, maybe, silently entreating her to be kind, and then she rolled on to her back and waited.

I sensed the tension in the air and I was intrigued, as you’d expect, so I took a chance and took my sunglasses off to be able to study both of their faces better.

Gloria’s showed that she was perturbed but also defiant. I could imagine why in that, clearly, she was truly content with her life and wasn’t going to change any part of it but she also knew that she’d left herself wide open to be called a whore – ‘puta’ – or  worse.

Marta’s face showed astonishment and disdain and, after a few seconds, she lifted herself up onto her elbows and said, “You can’t be serious! Five different men every week and for week after week! It’s just not possible. Please tell me that you’re making it all up.”

The busy-assed Gloria realized from that question that she was off the hook as far as abuse was concerned and so she relaxed back down onto the towel and said, “Sorry, Marta, it is so possible and it’s marvelous too, believe me.” Then her face took on a worried look as she said, “I know as well as you do that what I’m doing is not conventional so please don’t tell anyone about it will you?  They won’t understand. Besides, I don’t intend to keep doing it for more than another year or two because I want to have a nice house and kids like you already have.

As Marta was making herself accept the fact that all that Gloria had described to her was true her lower lip began to quiver and then she cried out in despair and collapsed back onto her towel and began to sob. I saw very real tears flowing down her cheeks.

 I looked over to Gloria and saw that for a few seconds she made no attempt to control the look of triumph that was on her face but then she shook it off and got up onto her knees and moved over to try to comfort her friend.

Fate played a cruel trick on me at that moment and so I never got to hear how the two women came to grips with the situation because – well, picture this and you’ll understand why: –

Marta’s envy-wracked body was heaving and convulsing, evidently she couldn’t help but contrast her miserable lot with Gloria’s nearly continuous love fests, and so I got to see her belly do some dramatic clenching and unclenching, which partially exposed some of her conventionally shaped pubic hair every time that it clenched, and her breasts were bouncing around a half-beat behind the rest of her body’s movements – which is always good to see – but my attention got diverted completely when Gloria knelt in front of her and it wasn’t because by doing so she blocked some of my view of Marta.

What happened was that Gloria put her hands on her friend’s shoulders and lifted her up so that she could hug her but after a few seconds of that she found that she was too heavy for her and so she had to lower her down onto the towel again. But, and here’s the point, having done so she cupped her friend’s face with her hands while murmuring condolences and then she sat back on her heels and by doing that they – Glory Hallelujah! – separated her buttocks and one of them somehow pushed her thong to one side and, because the angle of the sun and my angle of sight coincided beautifully, that let me see, clearly, her pursed anus and some bulging labia and a bunch of her short and curlies.

The sight mesmerized me for several long seconds but then she shifted her weight a little and that let the thong slip back into place and although her buttocks were still being presented wonderfully they couldn’t compare with what I’d seen and so I was able to start breathing again.

 I don’t have to tell you how it affected me but I will say that it made a lasting impression and I had to leave my vodka where it was and I struggled to stand up and then, holding a towel just so, I walked, trying hard to look natural, over to the sliding glass doors that led to the foyer of the Hotel.

Guests in bathing suits have to use one of the service elevators and so I walked that way and, luckily, an empty one opened up its doors and once the doors had closed and we’d started upwards I could relax my guard and my brain seized the chance to remind me of a story that a friend of mine once told me about the time that he went to a nude beach in California.

 It was divided into three sections. In the first part, near the entrance/exit, everybody was dressed in regular swim-suits and he had to walk through it to get to the topless part. He said that he’d felt no compunction whatsoever against not looking around freely as he checked out the women and he was pleased to be able to report to me that he didn’t see one – uh, that is two – that weren’t comely and really inviting.

He walked on and he eventually got to the area that was posted, conspicuously, as being what he was looking for and as he was searching for a space to put his towel down he was careful to use his peripheral vision only whenever he sensed that a naked woman was in the offing.

When he’d found a spot to claim as his own he spread his towel and then he arranged his belongings on it and then he sat down and took off his bathing suit.

He then lifted his head and looked around for about fifteen seconds.

He then put his bathing suit back on and stood up and collected all of his things and walked back the way that he’d come and he went out through the exit and back to his hotel.

He told me that he’d left quickly because he knew that only one of two things could have happened next. His exact words were; – “Either I got away from there right there and then or one of those women was going to get fucked.”

When my wife got back from her shopping trip she found me lying on the bed in our room and – we’ve been married for a long time – she took one look at me and although I’d modestly pulled the top sheet over me I didn’t have to say a word to get her to undress and join me there.

After a few wonderful minutes of busy and mutually satisfying indulgences which swiftly succeeded in turning soft-wood into hard-wood and then into steel, I disengaged to be able to say, “Woof, woof.”

“Oh dear,” says she, resignedly, and then, when she’d gotten into position, she dipped a shoulder and turned her head back to look at me as she went on to say, “The man, and it must have been a man, who invented the thong bikini has a great deal to answer for and I hope that he – – – “

I never did find out what fate she’d wished on the brilliant, far-seeing, design genius – who should get Nobel prizes in several categories and a Pulitzer and whatever else is out there – because right about then the roar of the ocean drowned out her words.

However, Gloria’s words came through loud and clear, “AyHombre, “ she said, “te quiero muchoQue enorme tu eres y tus habilidades son maravillosa tambien.”

There was lots more in that vein and the best part came near the end when she interlaced her screams of joy with name calling –

“You are truly, ‘Mister Every Night Of The Week.’ No, more than that, you are ‘Mister Every Night Of The Month.’ At least!“

“De seguro, eres, ‘Senor Semana Entera.’ Pero no, no . . . Verdaderamente eres, ‘Senor Mes Completo.’ Si, si, un mes completo por lo menos.”