21 08 2011




L. C. is my man. I own every record by him. I have at least tried to learn to play all his songs on my guitar. It is 1979 and L. C. is out of style, killed by punk-rock. I try to fit in with my friends, to dress  more punk-rock than  romantic hippie dresses, but it doesn’t come naturally to me. Even though it should, because I am always angry. Anger is my life force. Deprived of its logic and its livid energy I question my survival.

That’s why I listen to L. C. only at home, secretly and I don’t talk about it. I don’t wanna share him with anybody anyway. I know of course, that a singer worth his money is supposed to make  you feel like that he sings only for you alone, but still…

My  first almost-ex husband is the only other person who is allowed to share  my love for him. Last time we kicked dope for two days, he listened to “You Know Who I Am” and “Bird on a wire” so many times that it got him to cry. Not that you need any songs to make you cry when you go through Heroin withdrawal, but he is a tough guy who needs a lot of help to cry.

But tonight L. C. will be performing at the ‘Koncert Haus’ and my husband is out of town on some  bizarre project with the alcoholic sculptor, he’s been working with on and off for some time. Of course I’m broke but I show up anyway in the hope that somebody will get me in on account that I’m young, cute and dressed like a true seventies groupie.

I wear a dyed purple silk dress, that I made this afternoon, slightly tattered on purpose and a purple fur coat from the flea-market, falling apart at the seams. On my feet are purple vintage boots, laced up in the front on high stiletto heels. I have dyed them purple myself. My hair is long and henna red, cut straight with long thick bangs that hang over my eyes. I look like Cleopatra in rags. This look always works for me. People always say I look mysterious.

In front of the ‘Konzert Haus’, where I show up without a ticket, a crowd has formed. To my relief, I recognize a group of people I have met before at the academy. I work there as a nude painter model, since I myself haven’t found the courage yet to show up for the yearly entrance tests. This way I’m getting paid just to stand around at the academy of applied arts without having to find out if I have what it takes or not.

One of the group knows somebody who knows somebody who knows the drummer in L. C’s band and the two of us run off to find this somebody and I cant believe my luck, but we do. He is an older, very handsome man and it turns out that he manages the band’s show here in Vienna. He is dressed in a suit, just like L. C. and I introduce myself. His name is Daniel and our conversation ends with him offering me a ticket and an invitation to join him later, after the show backstage. This really is  my lucky day, but then again, I have never had to pay to get into a show so far. It certainly helps to be 20 years old and to be a painter model.

I float through the show in my plushy seat in one of the front rows. The only thing that’s not perfect, is all the other people in the same room. Like I said, I don’t like to share L. C.

Backstage after the show, I stand by myself, while my new friend Daniel talks to a group of woman in evening dresses and there in the middle of the small crowd is L. himself. He is holding a drink in one hand. His other hand dances over the exposed skin of one of the older women. I experience a wave of jealousy so immense that it makes my eyes sting. But the tour-manager has caught sight of me and waves for me to come over. On shaky legs I swim through the crowd and then I’m there in front of my fantasy, holding out my hand to receive a much needed drink. I say ‘Hi!”, because that’s all I can say right now. I hardly speak English. The only English I know comes from trying to understand L. C’s , Sex-Pistols and  Donovan songs. There was also one summer in England with a strange and kind family – a very long time ago.

And even if I would speak his language, I wouldn’t want to waste my words with banal bits, like “I really liked your show”, or “How do you like Vienna?”, but obviously, I would like to be able to say something, that makes me sound more interesting than a nervous school girl. But I delay to worry about that because L. looks at me, smiling. He asks Daniel something, while he keeps his eyes and his smile on me.

“L. wants to know where you’re from” Daniel translates for me and I turn to L.  I’m not sure if I even understand this question. But L. laughs and Daniel explains that he thinks that I don’t look Austrian.

“What do I look like from?” I ask both of them.

“He thinks you could be from Russia or from Mongolia or even an Eskimo”

“OK. My mother is an Eskimo and my dad is an Indian chief. But don’t tell anybody. My parents don’t know that I know that I’m adopted” I say, while I fish for my cigarettes. There, my English is not all bad.

L. lights my cigarette with a match from his breast pocket and drops the matches into my bag. He grabs two glasses of wine from a uniformed waiter and toasts with me. He takes my fur-coat and drapes it over his arm. He leans against the wall, watching me. There is some response between us, I feel it each time I meet his sad looking eyes. I respect the power of songs, the vibrations, all the things one cannot see. Occasionally those things are more powerful than all the rest – you either bow to them, let them in, or their force will break you. It is hot and noisy in here.

“Do you want to take a walk?” he asks into my eyes.

“Yes, outside!” I smile back.

He takes my arm and outside the cold winter air hits my flushed face. He helps me into my fur coat and I have no idea where to go from here. My curiosity is roused by not knowing the outcome of this. I have suffered for this – more than once – yet my impulse remains, has even strengthened over time.

My idol, this old man decked out in a suit, with sharp and very deep lines in his face, this L. C. kisses me right outside the ‘Konzert-Haus’ and I don’t even have to stand on my toes to reach him. His hands grab for my hair and I place myself entirely into his hands, pretending not to know it, pretending to think that I am in charge. I have learned enough about seductions over the years to know this: real desire, the kind that gnaws and lasts is nearly always mutual. We exchange another tangled kiss,  a kiss that opens a series of doors to a series of rooms, so that stopping is difficult and torturous. He reaches down into my dress and holds my breasts. It gets way too cold to keep standing outside, even loved and desired like this.

“I wish I knew where my hotel is” he looks at me and laughs “Opera hotel or something  like this…?”

“Oh!’ Hotel bei der Oper’! I know, it is not far, we can walk!” I know a lot more English than I thought.

We walk through the ‘Stadtpark’, where a thin layer of ice has formed on the little lake. His arm over my shoulder and both my hands under his shirt, we are slowly making our way to the hotel.

When we get to his suite, I drop my coat to the floor and L. calls room service for more wine. On the windowsill stands a little plant, a citrus tree that fills the air with sweetness, much sweeter than the little lemons growing on it. He lies down on the velvet sofa, arms at his side, staring at my face. I lay down beside him, not touching.

“No, stand there and take your cloths off!” he points to the French door that leads into his bedroom. He lights cigarettes for him and me and I unbutton all the tiny little buttons on my special dress. I make it last forever. Then I unclasp my bra and roll down my panties. Thank god I wasn’t too scared of the cold to not wear stockings. I would hate to have to step out of some ugly pantyhose in front of L. C. I want him to see what I would like to be: a beautiful young girl from Vienna, naked but for purple stockings and boots, smoking.

“Yes! Now come over here and stand in front of me!”

I love standing naked in front of a so much older and fully clothed man. He is still in his suit and tie and this feels so deliciously nasty and ‘verboten’. Most of the time I can’t  tell if I even like all the sex I’m having.

Ever since I have found out that my husband is gay, I’ve fucked my way around Vienna. There are a lot of cool bands and artists that I run into when I go out at night and I never, ever return home by myself. But I hardly ever feel  turned on and I’ve never had an orgasm with anybody but myself. I connect with the people I fuck on some other level, but sex is just the vehicle. I  do it because I don’t know how to do anything else to not feel lonely. And I kind of enjoy the kissing and touching, its just when it comes to actual sex, I turn off. It hurts. It just hurts and I want it to be over. Fast. That’s why I always pretend to have great orgasms, because I want them to be done and think I’m a great lover. All I really want, is the cigarette afterwoards.

Now when this man looks up at me with all the lust and desire in his eyes, I feel turned on. He reaches up, harshly and pulls my face down on his shoulder. He strokes my back while he keeps on smoking. I lift my face from his shoulder and kiss him. First lightly, a feathery lip-brushing baby kiss, then a kiss of deeper inquiry. Than as if a drawer has fallen open in him, dislodging its contents, he suddenly kisses me back, pushing his tongue deep inside my mouth. He runs his hands down my back until he grabs my ass. A bucket of desire empties over my head, covering my eyes. I reach down grabbing him through his pants but he takes my hand, lacing our fingers together. “Not yet!” he says. He places me so that he lays behind me, kissing my neck until I cant stand it and press my ass against him. His laugh fills my ear with warm breath. He pinches my nipples until the block in my body, a block that had been solid ever since the rape, melts slowly away. When he reaches down between my legs I find it almost unbearably sensual. I shut my eyes and let the wetness and my greed for more dance through me. Blood rushes to my face and makes it ache. In an never ending universe, everyone must choose a few coordinates and I choose mine:  to lie next to L. C.

He breathes my smell “Chocolate?” he asks. “Perfume” I say “from Vienna”. I feel the mattress trembling beneath me. I’d been afraid all along of wanting it more than I’m used to, but he doesn’t know that.

“I love it” he says and takes my hand, which is hot and dry. He rolls me over to face him. He holds me for a long time. I sense that he can feel my strength, the pounding heart inside my small frame and at that moment he recognizes me at last: the innocent. I know in my skin that he feels an impulse to protect me, to shield me from an overwhelming danger. But he has only himself to look for strength.

This time when I reach for his fly, he helps me to undress him. He dims the light even more and when he is totally naked, he spreads the cover over us. He makes me get on top of him and I ride him, slowly,  trying to feel some more of what I got a taste of before, when we just kissed and he wouldn’t let me have more than that. I feel a little bit. It doesn’t hurt! I fake that I’m coming, because I have no idea how not to fake it. I almost really feel that I could maybe come, if I would keep going slowly like that, with him kissing my neck and holding my breasts. For now that possibility makes me giddy with joy and satisfaction. For now that’s as good as it can be.

We lie naked in bed and drink some more wine. We try to talk, but every attempt ends with us laughing and giggling because of the language. We fuck some more, drink some more, fall asleep, have sex again, fall asleep and next time I wake up, I climb out of bed, silently so not to wake him and get dressed. I don’t mean to sneak out, but I don’t want to be there when the daylight shatters through the windows.

Fully dressed, I tiptoe over to the bed and kiss him lightly on the cheek. He hugs me, half asleep and mumbles: ”Thanks for the sweetest Vienniese pastry I ever had. Thank you!”

At least that’s what I hear him say.




One response

10 08 2012

“Real desire, the kind that gnaws and lasts, is nearly always mutual.” -jennifer egan

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