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Home Page 5 – plus.
       We’ve arrived at a milestone, people – this is page 50 (it is Short Story number 52 because page 46 has 3 short Short Stories in it) and I intend to continue publishing one every Monday until at least 11-11-11, sDq (that’s Spanish for ‘If God Wants It To Happen That Way’ although I don’t know what God has to do with it, or, come to that, with anything else on, uh, on our earth but I’m using it in the ‘if present circumstances prevail’ sense) and if anyone is sufficiently interested I’d appreciate an e-mail saying so at –
The Swedish Patient.
                      Roy Garde
For the first time in memory, convenient memory that is,
the roads between Oxford and London were impassable for
regular traffic. Two feet of snow everywhere and drifts up to
the tops of the windward side of the hedgerows that lined the
smaller roads.
     There were five of us in the Morris Minor, three adults
and two children, returning from a Christmas spent in Wales
and because this was at a time when the Motorways were hazy
dreams of some Government Planning Board we could by-pass
only a small part of the City of Oxford on our way back to
our homes in London.
     We came to a steep hill as we entered the outskirts of
the city and we were forced to stop behind a line of cars
whose occupants were waiting patiently and, if they were of a
like mind as were we, with some trepidation for a lone
policeman to work his way down the line explaining something
to each in turn that could only be dismaying news because
each car made a U turn as soon as he’d finished speaking to
its driver.
     When he got to us and after asking and being told where
we were headed he warned us that even if we made it to the
top of the hill looming before us the roads south of the town
were much worse than any that we’d already come through and
he strongly urged us to give up any hope of driving much
further that evening and that we should consider going to the
Oxford Railroad Station and catching a train from there.
     Our driver said that he would try to make it to London
because he was an experienced driver with many years behind
the wheel and he thanked the policeman and then made me
cringe by asking him what gear he’d recommend to climb the
hill with!
     The policeman gave a shrug and then politely said, “I’d
stay in second if I were you, Sir”, and then walked back to
the car behind us, steeling himself for more idiocy no doubt.
     There were many cars abandoned at various points up the
hill, most of them at odd angles to the buried curbs, but we
made it to the top because our weight ratio gave the tires
sufficient grip and then, when we were on the straight and
flat part that came next, we found that there was a layer of
ice under the loose snow and that our weight ratio was now
betraying us instead of aiding us and every little bump made
us skid and slip and each time that that happened the
driver lost control for a second or two and everyone in the car
instantly sensed that something was wrong and it made the two
children cry in distress. The driver, their father, after a
half mile or so agreed with their mother that going on was
not the sensible thing to do.
     The train to London was hardly heated and because we had
obviously not expected to have to get out of the car until
we’d reached our homes none of us had more than a coat each.
No gloves; nor scarves; nor hats; nor thick socks although
all were badly needed in that carriage. The two children, at
last still and silent, perhaps for the first time on the
whole trip it seemed to me, sat on their parents’ laps who
then opened up their coats and wrapped them around each child
after drawing him or her in close.
     After a few minutes another passenger came into our
carriage and we all felt much warmer instantly because she
was shivering uncontrollably, even piteously, and her lips
were positively blue.
     She was a thin blond girl and despair came into her eyes
when she realized that it was almost as cold inside the train
as it had been outside on the platform.
     She alarmed us all.
     The children could not stop staring at her, mouths agape.
When she could control her chattering teeth enough to get some
words past them she told us that she’d just driven down from
Glasgow with a friend in a cloth topped sports car whose
heater barely functioned. Her friend lived in Oxford so he had
dropped her at the train station and had gone on home.
“No doubt straight into a nice hot bath,” she surmised bitterly.
     She was frozen to her marrow and so, because we had ten minutes
or so before the train was due to leave, I went and got
a small little bottle of brandy and a large wax coated paper
cup of tea and a hot meat sandwich for her. The rest of us
had already eaten a meal in the cafe\pub where I bought them
and I remember that the meal was entirely dreadful but the
details, mercifully, I’ve forgotten. Anyway this poor girl
wasn’t much concerned about quality. What she needed was
something, anything, hot in her stomach.
     When she had downed all of my offerings some color
returned to her face and she thanked me so profusely that I
felt that I had done something near heroic.
     We eventually found out that she spoke with an accent
because she was Swedish. Her name, and it still sounds close
to unlikely to me although I’ve used it a lot since and I’ve seen
it written down often, was, she told us, “Moritz”.
     It was so cold that everyone stayed wide awake and we
talked desultorily all the way to Kings Cross. She had been
living in England for eight years and she was then teaching in an
infant’s school in St. Albans.
     We got to London a good hour before the subway system
shut down for the night so I had time to help my sister and
her family carry their luggage and their piles of presents – the
children had ‘rescued’ them by going into screaming fits
when they’d found out that their father, sensibly, wanted
to leave them in the trunk of the car in Oxford – to where
they could catch a bus to south London and then I went down
to get the subway to my home in north London.
     When I got to my platform I saw the Swedish girl,
“Moritz”, sitting on a bench crunched up on herself to try
to keep out of the freezing cold air that was blowing, at
times shrieking, along the platform, and she was, of course,
shivering again and looking woe-be-gone beyond words.
     I sat down beside her, upwind to shield her a little,
and asked her where she was headed and it turned out that
she had to go to the end of the line, about an hour’s journey,
and that she then had to try to get a cab to take her to St.
Albans and the chances of getting a cab at that hour were
remote in the best of times no matter about in atrocious
weather. Cab drivers, up there, have been known, en mass, to
‘inadvertently’ leave their phones off the hook even on normal
     She then started in with lamentations about as how
when she did eventually get to her apartment it would be
freezing inside and there’d be insufficient hot water for a
proper bath and how she “hated this country” in that while she
was used to cold – in spades seeing that she was brought up in
Sweden – and didn’t mind it outside where it belonged but why
on earth did the English wish to keep the insides of their
homes and their cars and their trains and, yes, their bloody
subway stations too, as cold as the inside of a meat storage
     I knew why but it would have taken too long to explain
to someone who wasn’t born there and who wasn’t brought up in
a society that accepted as quite logical the mind-set of the
officials who came up with these Spartan-like design
decisions that tested our mettle constantly.
     Incidentally, the Ambassador from Iceland had given the
whole country a huge boost in morale earlier that year when,
in an interview on television, he told a reporter that he was
glad about going home when his assignment ended soon
because he and his family found, “the temperatures in London
to be oppressively high and uncomfortable, the year round.” !
     I toyed with the idea of telling poor Moritz that
anecdote as we sat there but I decided not to because in her
advanced state of despair the potential for comfort that was
present in it probably couldn’t have registered. I did,
however, feel a lot of pity for her and, even though I
knew that it was probably the wrong thing to do for a
myriad good reasons, especially in England, I nonetheless
told her that my apartment was only four stops away and
was centrally heated and that my wife, I lied there
because the woman and I weren’t actually married, would
be happy to take her in and put her up for the night.
     She was, of course, highly dubious at first and rightly
so but she remembered the life saving brandy and the hot tea
and the sandwich that I’d brought to her in Oxford and as she
thought about her only alternative she eventually, tentatively,
accepted my offer.
     My then girl friend, also a foreigner but a modified
one seeing that she was from Australia, soon forgave me for
bringing a young blond woman into our home because her blue
lips and her constant shivering would have easily convinced
the biggest skeptic in the world that here was someone who
needed help. Badly and immediately.
     We combined efforts to get more sustenance into the
girl. I made coffee and got more brandy and she whipped up a
ham and hot pepper omelet with toast that was dripping with
butter. Moritz ate and drank everything quickly and was
very appreciative but we could see that just being in a warm
room at last would have been enough on its own for her.
     The two women shut me out almost totally as they
compared their experiences with the cold of winters and springs
and falls in England and in the dubious summers too. Then they
went on to talk about the rain and the dampness that was
there the year round and when they started in on the quality
of the food in the average restaurant, as she opened a bottle
of wine, I knew enough to leave them to it and I went to bed.
     In the morning I was surprised to find Moritz up and
already dressed when I came into the kitchen and so after
some juice and coffee and toast and marmalade we walked
to the subway together.
     Now that she had completely recovered from her hours of
being in close to zero conditions I saw that her face was quite
attractive. She actually had pink lips like the rest of us!
     When we got to the stairs of the overpass where we would
have to part, me to head south and she north, she asked for
my telephone number so that she could call and thank my
“wife” for her hospitality. I wrote it on one of my business
cards and she took it and then, for some reason, perhaps
merely out of politeness, ripped a third of the card off and
then she borrowed my pen and wrote down her number. She
handed it to me and then gave me a little kiss on the
cheek and thanked me yet again and then went up the stairs to
go over to the north-bound trains’ platform. I stood and
watched her walk up and away from me and saw, for the first
time, that it wasn’t only her face that was attractive.
     I broke up with my Australian girlfriend a few months
later and I moved into an apartment that was above a
Tobacconist and Newspaper shop that was just off
Tottenham Court Road, and close to Oxford Circus.
    It wasn’t more than a week after that before I telephoned
Moritz and when I’d finally convinced her that I’d changed
apartments and had never been married to the woman who
had, “been so nice to her”, and that we’d parted affably,
she agreed to meet me in town for dinner.
     We got on well together and we went out often and before
long she started staying overnight in my apartment which was
within easy walking distance of the places we liked to
frequent in town.
     Two summers later – we had been seeing each other for about
a year and a half by then – she somehow got a pinched nerve.
     She went to a Chiropractor for, “spine stretching and
manipulation”, but that gave her only temporary relief each
time and so then she went to several other Doctors and
Specialists who tried various treatments on her, and gave her
pain killers in the meantime, but soon they all began to
despair of ever curing her with “these pussy-footing half-
remedies” to quote one of them, and they started ganging up
on her about as how she should let them operate which, of
course, frightened her, and me, a lot.
     Sometimes the pain was so bad that she couldn’t go to
work. She was a teacher of five and six year olds and she
told me that a whole lot of interaction at ground level was
essential when teaching children of that age and that sitting
still in a chair in the classroom with her feet up was not an
available option for her. She was beginning to get
apprehensive as to how long the school could afford to let
her keep her job.
     One Sunday we were walking back to my place to make love
after having had a long brunch at a convivial restaurant that
was nearby when she stepped up onto a curb and then cried out
sharply and almost fell to the sidewalk. The pain in her
lower back had come on with such intensity that she had
trouble standing upright and, indeed, she could hardly breathe
because of it. I half-carried her home and helped her onto the
bed and got her a pill from her purse but after waiting for
ten minutes after swallowing it she told me that this time it
didn’t look as if it was going to help her much.
     She was crying real tears of pain and anguish and she
asked me if I’d undress her and then do the things
that the Chiropractor does to her spine to give her relief.
She said that she’d tell me where to put my fingers and
where to press and how to pull and push, etc.
     Getting her clothes off was a slow and difficult job
and then getting her to turn over, and thus lie
face down, was even more so because the slightest
twisting of her body was agonizing for her.
     She instructed me as to how to go about the stretching
part and then the rest of it but with the best will in the
world I could see that I wasn’t helping her much. She didn’t
stop moaning except to cry out and she then started doing
rapid deep breathing, like you see all the time in movies that
have women in them about to give birth. I guess they are
trying to somehow outwit and elbow out the pain.
     It looked to me that it was high time to call an
ambulance but she told me not to, through her sobs, because
she knew that the only option left to them was to cut her open.
    She went on, “I’ve already got some of their strongest pills
and I can take another one of them soon so please be an angel
and just sit there and hold my hand until the hour is up and
I can safely take the number two of them?”
     She quieted a little after a while, maybe from sheer
exhaustion, and I became more aware of her lovely bottom
that was so close at hand and it got me to remember what
we would have been doing at that minute had her nerve
not picked that most inopportune time to get itself
pinched, and, I am ashamed to admit it, I used a
free hand to gently stroke her wonderful, glossy,
smooth cheeks which had fine golden hairs barely
visible on them.
     Man! Did she get good and mad at me and I apologized at
once and was asking her to forgive me when she shushed me
loudly and then she asked me to help turn her over again so
that she could look at my face when she asked me, “to do
something for me that might be not pleasant”.
     Still in anguish about my faux pas, I helped her turn over
and then to sit up a little on the pillows and she then said that
my stroking her bottom – “Totally inappropriate for God’s sake,
how could you? What were you thinking? Bloody men!” – had
jogged (she pronounced it jog-ged) her memory of the last time
she had uncovered herself for the Chiropractor and how his hand
had, inadvertently she was sure, rested on her bare bottom for a
second or two before his nurse, who was also his wife, had
primly arranged a sheet over her buttocks and had then stayed
in the room the whole time as she lay still for him. “Well,” she said,
“what I remembered just now was that I’d thought then, in frustration
of ever being cured by his usual methods, that wasn’t it a
pity that I could not dare ask him to try to manipulate
my spine from the other side, the inner side of it!”
     She said she didn’t ask him to do it because he might well
think that she was telling him how to do his job and that
anyway it was far too intimate an act to ask a stranger to
do for you, even if he was a professional, but, she figured now,
she could certainly ask me to do it and so here she was asking
  1. Would I do it for her? She said she’d be ever so grateful
forever, “you just see if I am not”, if I’d try.
     I had, of course, understood at once what she wanted me
to do for her and I didn’t exactly welcome the opportunity –
as she knew me well enough by then to guess – but she also
probably knew me well enough to know that it is not in me to
refuse anything after a plea like that so I valiantly
acquiesced and I went to the bathroom and got the Vaseline
jar and I remembered that I had several face cloths, we’d
called them ‘flannels’ back then, that someone had given to
me, probably my mother, and that I’d never had occasion to
use, having forgotten what they were for to be honest about it,
so I got two of them out of the drawer that they shared with
regular towels and I dampened one.
      I think that if there had been someone else there with us
I would have ordered him or her to, “get plenty of hot water!”
to follow convention, you know?
     I then trimmed down the nail on the middle finger of my
right hand and, that done, I resignedly went back to her.
     I carefully and slowly turned her over again and I put our
two pillows under her belly and then I applied the Vaseline
liberally and then I pushed my finger up into her anus.
     Getting past her sphincter was difficult but once I’d
started I wasn’t about to stop and so I persevered. When
I’d succeeded she screamed something at me in Swedish
and then she said, in English, that she had changed her
mind and that I was to stop at once and I was to take it
out right then and that it couldn’t be done because “that
place” was designed to reject and not to accept things in
it and that I was an uncaring brute and obviously a
total pervert and that we were finished for ever
and that she hated me.
     When my finger was all the way in I kept it still and
after a minute she quieted and said that it had stopped
hurting and that now she, “only felt stuffed and overfull and
confused”, with its being in there.
     There could be no more instructions from her because we
were both in unknown territory here, as it were, so I started
gingerly feeling for her coccyx and I found that I could reach
it and just beyond to the next vertebrae, or whatever.
     I eased up to that bone and pressed it a little in
one direction while using my left hand to slightly twist it,
from above, the other way.
    She tried very hard to not scream again as I did so
but she didn’t succeed very well.
When she’d calmed down and had realized, again, that
what I was doing was her only hope she took time to
draw up some courage and then she said, encouragingly,
that she thought I that was doing everything right but she
was sure that the problem was higher up and that I should
try to reach in further.
     I told her that I was all the way in already and so perhaps
we should put more pillows or cushions under her belly but there
weren’t any more pillows nor cushions in reach and she knew
that my going to the couch for some would mean my having to
disengage and subsequently she would have to go through
the agony and the humiliation of re-insertion so she ordered me to
stay still and to not dare change the status quo and to think of
another way because, “I know you’re clever and you’d better think
of something right now or I’ll never let your finger go out!”
     She was desperate and helpless and embarrassed and
humiliated and crying with pain and still trying to joke.
     You’d have to love her as much as I did.
     It occurred to me, being an engineer and all, that if
extra cushions under her belly would improve the angle, and
provide me with more reach, then, if that was so, surely if I
moved her so that she was kneeling on the floor with her hands
on the bed and have her sit back onto her heels and lean her upper
body onto the bed that would provide me with the most favorable
angle that it’s possible to get.
     I told her my idea and she sighed in very real relief
and she readily agreed to try it and so we carefully worked
together to move her over and into that position.
     When she had at last stopped sobbing quite as much I
carefully felt out the topography, as it were, and found that
I could now reach two more of her, uh, spinal bones and I went
through my routine on the first one and then the second and my every move
brought screams but no discernable change.
    After that, and in very real despair myself, I thought that I’d done everything that I could do but then it came to me that I’d only tried realigning her bones in one direction so why not try the other way as I withdrew? Worth a try, I said to myself, and when I’d put pressure on the other side of the farthest one in that I could reach I felt, rather than heard, a click and doing that made her really scream – like a banshee, whatever that is – but certainly much louder than any banshee in this world possibly could. Luckily, the shop below me closes at noon on Sundays so no one called the cops.
     I jumped back and away from her thinking that I’d
probably hurt her badly, even seriously, and I was desolated
and wished fervently that I’d simply called an ambulance
and had let an expert deal with it and evidently she thought
the same thing because she started cursing me again in Swedish
and then, realizing that that had little import, switched to
English and she used words I hadn’t heard since I left the
Navy and had never thought that I’d ever hear coming from a
woman’s mouth on this Earth and especially from a foreigner who had no business knowing even some of them. Just what kind of children was she teaching up there in St. Albans, anyway, I wondered?
     When she’d calmed down a little she had sufficient
awareness, and admirable presence of mind I thought, to tell
me to go and wash my hands, “properly and right now please”,
but I’m pretty sure I would have done that without prompting
because I found that my other fingers would have nothing to
do with the offending and offensive one and it was ostracized
and was thus, perforce, sticking up alone in the universal,
every day and in every way more utilized, sign of derision.
     When I got back she asked me to help her up and on to
the bed and then to bring her the pills and a glass of water.
She was still in pain and couldn’t hardly move at all and she
asked me to put two of the pills into her mouth and then
give her some water to swallow them with even though it
said plainly on the label, “Never take more than one in any one
hour”. I gave her one and said that I’d leave another within
reach, with the glass of water close by too, so that she could
take it later when the first one had done its work enough
to enable her to help herself. A kind of carrot for her I thought.
     The pain that she was in evidently made her slightly
demented because, through her tears, she started to accuse
me of being responsible for it all and that my cruelly
withholding her pills was “the last stick(?) and I hate you and I
want nothing more to do with you, ever.” Further, she didn’t
want to as much as even see me again and she shouted
that I was to, “Get out of my vision right now and never come
back inside it!”
     I felt so helpless and bemused and was so worried
about what might be the terrible consequences of my act that
I actually let her drive me out of my own apartment!
     I went to the park and watched the tourist Mums, and
some native Mums perhaps, give their children bread for the
ducks and swans and some birds that were in-between size,
maybe geese, that were on the lake. All of the girls and the
smaller boys threw it underarm in the birds’ general direction
while the older boys threw it overarm and directly at them.
     The bread kept getting flung as succeeding families
came to the lake and, amazingly, the birds kept right on
scoffing it up all through the hour or so that I stayed there
and they gave no indication at all that they’d ever get enough of it.
     It was too early to go to a pub – they had ridiculous
opening hours and concomitantly totally stupid closing times
in those days – so I went to see a movie but in the state that
I was in it didn’t make much sense to me so when the magic
opening hour came I abandoned the place without the least
regret and with no concern at all as to how the movie might
end and I went on a long pub crawl.
     I spent the night at my sister’s home that was six
subway stops from where I ended up. I slept on the couch and
she was troubled at my condition but she didn’t ask me even
one question. Bless her! How could I have even begun to
explain that I might well have been instrumental in maiming
someone very close to me?
     I went to work the next day directly from my sister’s
place and, seeing that it was a Monday, masses of week-end work had
piled up that had to be dealt with, and, even though as was
usual for me on Mondays I went in early, it took me until nearly 10
o’clock before I could clear up the serious stuff enough to find
time to get on the phone to call my home. Or was I merely too
scared to make time to call earlier?
     I certainly expected the worst.
     I got the best!
     She had been knocked out by the second pill that I’d
left for her and she had slept, flat on her back, through until
7 o’clock that morning and she had remembered everything
on awakening and had gingerly searched for the pain, any pain,
and had completely failed to find any. “Not a scrape!” she
told me. (I figured that she meant, “Not a scrap!”)
     She gushed that I was a genius! “A veritable Surgeon
General! So clever and a wonder and a wonderful, wonderful
Man.” (While all three “W’s” weren’t quite “V’s” none of them
had a firm footing exactly). She assured me that she hadn’t
forgotten her promise about being, “ever so grateful”, and
that I’d soon see what she’d meant by it.
     She told me that she was going to stay in my apartment
all day and would clean it until it sparkled and then she was
going to cook something really special and have it ready with
good wine when I got there. Also, she went on to say, she’d
spent the last half hour writing down obscure Lapland tricks
– she was up to number four by then she said “and there are
some more that shall come back I’m sure” – that all
Scandinavian women know about but despise because doing
them make them feel like sex objects and mere adjuncts to the
male so they never even acknowledge their existence and
thus never have to do them. That works well with their
husbands because no man in his right mind who was living
with a woman full time would ever even describe one
of them to her if he had any thoughts of looking into her
eyes ever again. It seemed that the tricks were developed
by the Lapps, (or does that have to be, “Laplanders”, always?)
to keep them from going crazy in the long, long dark winters.
She promised that we were going to do them all!
     After she’d hung up I regretted that I hadn’t asked if
there were to be any live reindeers involved and that if
there were she was to be sure to keep them confined in the
hallway but later I remembered what she’d said about, “to get
them through the long, long, dark winters”, so I went to see
my boss and asked for Tuesday and Wednesday off as, “Personal
     Just in case.
     It was one of my better ideas.
     Believe me, if Moritz is typical, it isn’t a good idea to
underestimate Scandinavian women on hardly anything
but never, never, when they say that they want to please you
between the sheets. They do it all and they’re very inventive
and if they find something to be extra pleasing to them – and
maybe even to you if you find a good way to signal the fact –
they’ll go back and employ slight variations until they’ve
milked that option dry. With just about any woman from anywhere a man
can get the impression occasionally that, “my prick was
not my own”, (that’s an expression that’s used a lot
in the Navy by men just back from shore leave and full of
pride about a wife’s or a girlfriend’s prowess in bed the
night before), but with Scandinavian women you know,
soon after the action starts, that ‘it’ is there in the bed with
you both and that ‘it’ is being employed vigorously and adroitly
but the feeling of loss of ownership is so uncanny that you just
have to give up worrying about it and pray that you’ll be
allowed to leave with ‘it’, reasonably intact, when it’s time to part.
       Take my word for it and for God’s sake don’t cross one
of them if she has given you her trust or she’ll sure as snow
in Norway in the wintertime never give ‘it’ back to you.
     In working shape, that is.
     How did I find out about the above mentioned horrific
possibility? Well, when we’d worked our way through the first six positions that she’d listed – the ones that those poor unfortunate snow-bound and dark-bound Laplander’s practice – we came to number seven, the last one, and she’d written, in English, quite wittily it turned out, “The worm turns!”
     Well, this is how the whole thing played out –
       We were resting on the Wednesday afternoon, after having
tried to remember our names since breakfast time, when I
found the paper that she had written the list on. She
somewhat reluctantly translated their descriptive titles one by
one for me and I toasted each one of fond memory with a sip of Schnapps.
       The first one had a title that was a formidably complex
 string of – yes – strung together imposing Swedish words
 and if I had to give it a descriptive title I’d go for – “Unhand me Madam.”
 It sounds straight forwards enough in that the couple gets into the sixty-nine position
 and the guy is allowed to go right ahead, as it were, and do whatever he likes in the way
 of kissing and licking and nibbling and communing but the woman is allowed to use only
 the same tools that he can use – that is her two index fingers and her tongue. It turns out
 that it is very difficult for the woman to make progress even though she can take all the
 time she likes – remember that that is, after all, the raison d’etre of the whole thing – and
 that is because the man doesn’t build up much steam pressure because he’s highly content
 at her other end and her minuscule efforts at her end are just enough to keep him
 interested and, at the same time, relieve the strongest parts of his urges.
    Moritz admitted to me that it usually ends – as did our session – with the woman being
 allowed to cheat more and more when they get close to the two-hour mark seeing that by
 then he’s eaten enough pussy to see him through to at least the end of the current month.
    The second one on the list also had an imposing, also equally unpronounceable, title
 and I’ve translated it into “Two Inverted Wheelbarrows.”
         It starts off in the usual way of forming a wheelbarrow which is, of course, thus –
 the woman bends over on the carpet and she leans forwards onto her hands and
 then offers up her legs, one at a time, and the guy takes them
 and then he penetrates her and takes her on a ‘wheeled’ tour of the room.
      However, in the Laplanders’ version the tour part doesn’t happen. When they are one
 the guy sits down and the woman takes his legs and makes another wheelbarrow and
 from then on she takes charge, verbally –
     “Bring your forearms around my thighs . . . no, not like that, on the inside . . . .
 yes, now you have to sit up and your head has to slip under
 my upper right arm . . . .”
       It goes on and on until neither one can move a muscle and then it becomes
 obvious that they’ll never be able to untangle themselves until the guy’s erection is no
 longer pinioning them!
      That puts the woman firmly in charge yet again because she can use
 her Kegal muscles to keep him interested, and thus erect, for as long
 as she wants and the brinkmanship that’s involved brings prolonged
 pleasure to them both and, concomitantly, total awareness of the other
 one’s welfare, at all times.
     When it suits the woman she can step up her inner contractions to bring
 him to climax but a strange thing happens along the way in that, in the first
 stage, the guy strongly urges the woman on and she always tells him to be patient and to
 shut up because she needs to concentrate but surprisingly, as it progress, the positions are
 reversed in that the guy begins to beg her to please slow down because he doesn’t want it
 to end, ever, but by then she wants to get it done ASAP and she works harder and
 harder even though she’s already close to exhaustion and it’s only
 the exquisite amount of pleasure that she’s evidently giving him that strengthens
 her resolve enough to go on and get the job done and thus set them both free.
     When the, uh, dam breaks it and they can lie full out next to each other, she told me, it
 always astonishes both partners how eloquently and feelingly they thank each other for
 being there and for being their mate and lover. That was certainly true in our case.
        The third item had a long title too but I shortened it, in my mind, to,
 “The Swivel.” The guy sits on the side of the bed and the woman approaches
 him in reverse, as it were, and she impales herself and the point of it all is that
 he can’t do any thrusting until they’re face to face. The woman makes
 countermoves to his every attempt to get her to twist around and because that very same
 twisting can hurt him he has to both placate her and use guile to gain every degree in
 her changes of course and then to maintain it. It can take hours but the excitement keeps
 building and provides the motive to keep on keeping on and, again, that’s exactly what
 it’s intended to do.
     As the list went on the titles got shorter but the acrobatics called for stayed pretty
     In number four the guy can only insert himself after their entanglement is complete
 and after the last move has been carried out the woman needs his help to get to
 encompass him and it has to be carried out very, very cautiously indeed but the instant
 relief that comes to them both at that moment of truth is unique and the pleasure that’s
 generated subsequently is, uh, memorable.
     In number five, called by me, “Find Waldo,” they both, secretly, decide on a ‘trigger’
 which has to be discovered before anything serious can get started – you write them
 down and put them on the other side of the room to keep things honest, and to know that
 there is an actual goal – and then they take turns to go on a discovery trip. The triggers
 can be just about anything, like – ‘get my left testicle to hang lower than my right one’ or,
 ‘nibble on my right nipple while twirling the left one.’
      It can go on as long as you want but when things start to steam up the usual practice is
 to give out hints like ‘warm’ and ‘warmer’ and ‘cold’ and colder.’
      It is a two-part session and there’s always a necessary detent – it can involve some
 sleep because who is keeping score? – between the halves.
     The title of the sixth one is just as formidable as the others and I’ve changed it, in my
 mind to, “How’re They Hanging?”
      When she’d translated the title for me it sounded to be common and garden and
 innocuous and I wondered why it was on the list at all until we tried it.
       Two hard wooden chairs are placed so that they are facing each other on a stone or
 wood or dirt floor. The lovers sit in the chairs with her legs resting up on his and with his
 spread far enough apart to clear the seats.
       They can, in fact they have to, slide all the way forwards on their seats.
       They pull the chairs nearly together as they endeavor to couple but the rule is
 that their bottoms aren’t allowed to leave the seats for even a second.
       It is relatively easy to make the connection but it soon becomes evident that the only
 way to build up the necessary friction is by moving one of the chairs,
 or both, back and fore. They combine their efforts to do just that.
     Again, it sounds fairly straight forward up to that point but in practice the man quickly
 gets to be acutely aware of the potential danger that his prized jewels are in seeing that
 they’re dangling between two hard wooden surfaces that are going to come crashing
 together often and with increasing frequency as the pace builds up.
 The guy starts off by using one of his hands to hold them up and out of harm’s way but
 as the pace picks up the work gets to be too hard for them seeing that only one of his
 hands is helping with the pushing and pulling and so, after a while, her increasing
 frustration makes her offer to take over the caretaking chore with one
 of her hands in order to free both of his up and his own building needs get him to agree
 because by then they have gotten to be, nearly, stronger than his sense of self-
       That little gesture of hers is what allows the job to get done eventually and the
 reason that this particular practice stays popular and remains on the list is because of
 what happens consequently.
      In his case: It’s no longer simply, “My prick was not my own,” but, “My balls were
 not being safeguarded by me,” and all men will understand the amount of anguish that’s
 involved and will cringe when they so much as contemplate the amount of peril that’s
 present. When it’s over the guy is so grateful to the woman for saving them from being
 crushed – his worst fear ever since they went into production back when he was about
 twelve years old – that she can do no wrong in his eyes for many days afterwards.
      In her case: By saving them for his, and her, future use she assumes partial ownership
 of them and, in the way of the world, in the days that follow she often asks him about
 their welfare and pleads to be allowed to hold them – by which she means ‘cherish’
 them – and that – it stands to reason, as it were – leads to many more love making
 sessions for them both.
      It has certainly worked out like that for Moritz and me.
    That brought us to number seven on the list and when she described it to me the
 significance of her little comment, “The worm turns,” became evident.
      When she’d finished translating it’s title it also became evident to me that
 not only was I positive sure that I’d never pass that test but I also knew that I if t’were to
 be done t’were better that t’were done with some other guy, and with some other guy’s
 worm too, and I rebelled there and then.
       To placate me she told me that number seven wasn’t intended to be a part of our
 present agenda and that she’d written it down, “by mistake and, look, it I’ve crossed out.”
      I took the list from her and was thankful to see that it had indeed been crossed out
 but when I’d lowered my head back onto the pillow she must have seen that I wasn’t
 totally content with her answer and so she went on to tell me that she had only written it
 down because it had popped into her head and she’d added it to the list only because she
 wanted, “the memory flow to continue to be flowing.”
      She offered no details as to how many Laplander men ever become fathers after doing
 it and she allowed that yes, for the men there might be an unfortunate side to doing it but
 the experience is unique and so intense that some – who, I presume, already have enough
 children – choose to go ahead with it. She then, without making much of a positive effect
 on me, assured me that because Laplander women are always fit and strong the particular
 series of contortions it calls for aren’t all that dangerous for them. She said that she had
 some doubts if she herself could ever do them properly again.
     I felt distinctly faint at that, “again,” of hers so I drank more Schnapps and I murmured something defensive about as how she should be careful that she didn’t inadvertently pinch another nerve doing dangerous contortions especially if the, “Surgeon General”, was in no condition to help her next time. Then I looked at the dreadful number seven again and I noticed that she had drawn the line through it unnecessarily lightly.
     When I pointed this out to her she tossed her head and said, “Poot! Poot!” and then she took the note from me and walked across the room to put it into her handbag and it shows how totally played out I was because when she was walking away from me the only reaction I got from seeing her lovely, wobbling and undulating bottom was whether I could see any spine misalignment showing above it. In a way, her spine now belonged to me.
    However, while doing that I remembered what she’d just said – “Poot! Poot!”
I think that she’d meant to say, lightly, “Pooh! Pooh!” or, “Poof! Poof!” but, was it possible that she’d reverted to Swedish?
Is there a Swedish word ‘Poot’?
Back then I felt far too cowardly to go and look it up in the dictionary that she’d bought for me – she won’t admit it but I know that she’d given it to me when she’d realized that I’m not enough of a masochistic to ever want to become even partially fluent in her, uh, language and she wanted me to stop asking for translations of the many Scandinavian words that come up in everyday life, like ‘Omsbudman,’ – I felt far too cowardly to look it up back then and I still do.