nudity and sex
nudity and sex
There were too many things I did not know at the age of twenty four -- and how to love was one of them.
But perhaps nothing I could have done would have changed the fact that I could not love Armand as he wanted -- and deserved -- to be loved. Nor Catherine.
Our choices are made in the dark, blindly, either we use reason or emotion. In retrospect, we can judge whether they were wise or disastrous. But still risking making misjudgments, because life is in constant movement and transformation, and so are the consequences of our choices. Maybe we get a glimpse of the whole picture before we die, but maybe we won't, ever.
For that which tormented me in my youth -- my lust, and the imperious urge to satisfy it -- was also a source of insights.
I realized that, to nestle Armand affectionately in my arms, I just had to open my heart, where he had always dwelt. And from that inner place, try to give him the love and tenderness he wished for.
With Catherine, it was the opposite -- because I wanted to have her in my arms, I was trying to open my heart to her encapsulated heart, ignoring her bad temper and arrogance, trying to circumvent the disdain and lack of interest she seemed to hold for me.
Armand was open for me, but I wasn't quite, not for him, while with Catherine I was willing, and she wasn't the least.
But that one morning, when I saw her occupying one of the sun loungers on the stretch of sand that Armand and I had nicknamed 'The tiny beach' -- though the entire island circumference was a beach -- I did not feel any desire for her, even if for the first time I was seeing her almost naked, in her daring bikini.
Probably because I had exhausted my lust during the evening, riding my fantasies high. I had dreamed of Catherine -- or at least the body that I held in my arms had her appearance, but it was strangely mingled with Armand's, whose presence seemed to emanate from underneath her figure. Her soft skin held Armand's toned muscles, and her captivating femininity glowed with his serene manliness.
In the dream, I kissed Catherine's little lips, the same lips which during the day I had devotedly watched, even when they were uttering harsh words against me. But in my reverie they were never contracted in disdain, because through her amber eyes there was Armand's gaze staring at me, and his loving expression softened Catherine's face. Kissing Catherine, I felt I was at once kissing Armand, and as I mounted her delicate body, at the same time I penetrated into Armand's virility. She was the commanding me to plunge deeper into her, but it was Armand's hands to grab my back and drive me closer to his body, her body, their body. It just wasn't a ménage à trois fantasy, because I could not differentiate between Armand and Catherine, mingled in one wondrous being.
"And as if my long and repeated masturbation sessions hadn't been enough, I had a wet dream..." Carlo suddenly left the Île du Blanchomme and, for a brief moment, again met me at Nirvana Lounge in Vice City. "Please pardon me for the inconvenient details, Laurent..." He apologized for the sake of being polite with me, not because he actually was embarrassed. "Even though you had already announced yourself to me through that apparition, this impetuous young man I'm telling you about was not yet your father. And that young woman was not yet your mother, but a Parisian intellectual taking vacations on the Indian Ocean."
I confess I was impressed at how Carlo could speak of himself, with such detachment and sincerity, telling me intimate details about himself. It must have been like that for any other boy, like it had been for me, but I had never imagined my father jerking off. At once, he was recognizing his own faults, yet with a compassionate look... Meditation had delivered its fruits on him already. And he was talking about Catherine in a dimension that I had never imagined could exist, yet carefully preserving the image of my mother for me. The man and the father, the woman and the mother, the apparition and me... I was fascinated.
"But in reality it was not so simple, Laurent." Carlo sighed.
In the silence that followed, I watched the scenery behind my father, who was completely oblivious to its grandiosity. A cargo ship steadily crossed the ocean towards the horizon, a line above which new stars constantly emerged into the sky, as the planet turned. Bellow us, I could watch the stream of lights of hundreds of cars slowly making their way through the impossible rush hour of Vice City -- the city I had once dreamed of conquering. A dream I had let fade, die, sink, vanish.
"Not the least simple..." Carlo resumed, sighing. "For my desire demanded an actual satisfaction, that kept happening just in dreams. In my fantasies, both Armand and Catherine abandoned themselves unconditionally to me, welcoming my seed inside them. In reality though, there was no Armand to overlap and drop a loving veil of softness over Catherine's presence, and turn what was arduous and edgy into adorable and friendly... I was increasingly aware that I'd have to soften her myself."
"Maybe again, my lust was the reason why I disturbed her that morning," and without further notice, we left the shores of the Atlantic Ocean that bathed Vice City and jumped back to the Indian Ocean, "...when I saw her sitting on the lounge chair for so long, motionlessly sunbathing. I was afraid that she had fallen asleep and lost track of time. In my opinion, she had already spent too much time out under the sun, so that I interrupted my work in the garden and went after her."
"Merci. But I think I can handle myself." she replied at my concerns, "When I feel the sun is too strong, I'll move under the shade of the palm trees."
I wanted to tell her that perhaps the shade of the palms was not such an effective protection, because the wind was stirring the leaves continually, but I was afraid to contradict her. I wasn't a native, yet being a peasant I responded to nature intuitively, wherever I was, in a very direct way. Unlike Catherine or Armand, so set in their sophisticated urbanity.
"Maybe you should drink water once in a while..." I suggested. I saw myself trying to be nice... but at the same time checking her entire body, taking in all details as if I was going to paint them later. The idea sounded perfect to me. Maybe I should invite her to pose? And then, the craziest thought crossed my mind -- I felt guilty for never having portrayed Armand! There were all these things I'd have to make up for him.
"Will you bring water to me?" She tried to put on a friendly smile. I saw she had very light, thin hair on her forearms, thighs and upper lip, all covered with barely perceptible drops of sweat, pretty like precious pearls to my hungry eyes.
"Sure. I'll get water for myself..." It was a lie, because whenever I came down to work in the garden I'd bring my water canteen with me, to avoid going upstairs again. "And I can bring it to you, too."
"Oh, thank you..." I realized that perhaps those smiles I had classified as artificial in Catherine, that seemed to pretend empathy, were the only smiles she had. That was probably the most sincere empathy she could actually feel and demonstrate. And for the first time, she transposed the unthinkable abyss between us and touched me, resting the tip of two fingers on my forearm. Very lightly, but enough to send shivers all over my body, automatically starting an erection that I tried to hide with my shirt. "Thank you..." She pulled her fingers to make a gesture that, although so small and delicate... and Catherine had sometimes gestures as beautiful and delicate as I imagined would come from a geisha, when her hands became like two little birds in love with the air around them... lifting her two hands open in the air, palms up, in a lovely gesture that seemed to encompass the whole landscape, she said "Thank you for everything."
I was touched at her thanking me, and I had been touched -- both my heart and body were joyful at once, the blood now equally distributed between my organs, haha. There was a fresh wet stain in front of my shorts, but it did not really embarrass me, since it was all too stained from sweat, paint, dirt and, since recently, my semen.
I hastily climbed the stairs, running for a jar of water to bring Catherine. I was so happy! That brief and slight touch of her fingers on my arm gave me the chills, and only because of my experience with Armand could I now recognize their nature... sexual... loving -- that bearable discomfort and the almost desirable tension between the girl and me, I now knew what it was.
I recalled Armand with a certain guilt -- what could have been and what we could have had -- but also with happiness, because I had learned so many things with him, and even those most intimate. Although he was only three years older than me, he had experienced the world like I never had, and so I had made him my master.
He was present in my mind almost all the time on that initial stage of my budding love for Catherine -- as I was about to forget him completely.
Should I have helped Catherine, instead of thinking only of myself?
When I brought her the water, she wanted to know more about Armand's paintings she had seen scattered around the house.
"There's a portrait of you... on the beach... which is very... realistic," and she paused before praising any further, "and very beautiful..." The model or the painting?, I thought. "Have you learned how to paint from Armand?"
I blushed when I told Catherine that the paintings she had seen were all mine, because she seemed so impressed and delighted. "How can you have painted your own torso... with all those details on the muscles of your back?" she asked, eager to learn more about our time at the École, curious to know more about my training and Armand's, that she imagined to be a painter, too.
"An architect, is he?" She was so impressed and interested in Armand that I felt a bit jealous. If she were to meet him, the girl would probably fall for my noble and handsome friend -- and for the first time I was happy for Armand's absence.
I took her to my easel, placed on a corner at the beach, to show her the last canvas I had worked on -- and it was the first time we actually connected, talking about Art.
"You're Italian, oui?" She had remarked at some point. When I was thrilled, I would gesticulate too much, even if Armand had recommended me to restrain at least in formal situations. Though he himself loved to watch my hands moving like crazy; it always brought him a smile. And my accent manifested also more strongly. "Your French is excellent, better than any other Italian I've met!" Catherine looked adorable when she complimented me, and I blushed, with whatever little blood I still had that hadn't rushed down. "I knew you were Italian by your... nose." She seemed embarrassed when she said this. "It is classical. All Roman sculptures seem to have it... And when you think it is idealized, you find someone to prove that it actually existed... and it still does..." Her comments of my body threw it on fire, and I was suddenly afraid to ejaculate then and there, in front of the girl. "Do you have some kinship to those Roman nobles and generals, who nowadays inhabit the museums?"
I realized she was trying to compliment me, and again I blushed. Or was it because I could not take my eyes away from her body? As we talked, she kept balancing her weight on either one of her feet -- and because the tiny bikini did not quite accompany her shifts, I thought I could see her moist pubic hair showing under the cloth. I was entranced.
Even I could feel the effects of the sun, during that long conversation. And it was only because I started to sweat a lot and I was afraid to stink in Catherine's presence, that I ended our wonderful debate. Art had always brought the best things in my life, I thought, like going to live in Paris and studying at the École, and my friendship with Armand... and now, that proximity with Catherine.
"Would you mind if I stayed a little longer here on the beach?" she replied, when I said I was going to fix lunch for us. "I could not help you in any possible way, and maybe even get in your way." She laughed. It was heaven if we would only get along that well during the length of her stay, I thought.
I guess Catherine always imagined that cooking was reproducing to perfection the sophisticated meals from the grand Parisian restaurants that she was used to. She never guessed that even simply peeling a potato would be of great help -- nor she ever tried to.
"Perhaps you should bathe in the sea for a while..." I hadn't seen her go into the water yet, not even try the natural pool, and as much as I felt obliged to advise her, I feared losing the present harmony of our conversation. "And then, maybe... move to the shade... The sun is very hot..."
"Thank you for caring." My concern seemed to annoy more than to please her. "But I hate the sea. Its color is pretty, d'accord... But why did it have to be so salty?" She laughed and walked away towards the lounger.
She looked even more beautiful when she was in a good and light mood, so attractive -- and once she was happier and made prettier, my excitement had no shame nor anything that could decrease it. I felt my raging hard-on jumping and kicking, about to rip my worn shorts or stain them again, and I was glad to retreat upstairs, where I finally gave in to satisfying my lust once more.