OF PRIESTS … AND MONSTERS.
CHAPTER TEN (FROM “ENTRE NOUS”):
Several days later, in New York City.
Mariusz was deeply buried in his writing. The Chelsea Corner Cafe was fairly empty as most working people had already gotten their morning coffee and breakfast to go, and were either sitting at their desks at their jobs or were en route to appointments. He had the day to himself, as Bertrand and William were visiting art galleries. He did not know where Rickard was … and did not care. It was good to have a day on his own. He and Bertrand had been together almost constantly since they arrived in New York City from London – now almost seven days ago. They would return to Paris tomorrow. And then Mariusz must find proper work, and get his acting career back on track – somehow.
“Excuse me! Are these papers yours? Sorry. Should I ask you in Polish? You are Polish, right?”
Startled, Mariusz looked up at the stranger who was standing above him, holding the loose papers in his hand. He was equally as surprised by the abruptness of the interruption as he was by the question about his being Polish. Mariusz glanced at the intruder’s face and then at the papers he was holding in his hands and replied: “Yes, they are mine. Thank you! But how did you …?”
“How did I know that you speak Polish? I saw the Polish newspaper on the table. My name is Mieczyslaw but most people just call me ‘Mischa’ … Mieczyslaw is just too difficult for most Americans to pronounce. I was born here in New York, but my father is Polish and my mother is Italian-American. I grew up with Polish as a second language in the home. How about you? Are you American or Polish?”
Mariusz’ facial muscles suddenly relaxed into a casual smile, and he replied while extending his hand to greet Mischa: “Hi! My name is Mariusz, but the name on my birth certificate is Karol. I am here on vacation with some friends. I was just sitting here writing some poetry.”
Mariusz blushed. “My written English is not perfect, and I thought that trying to write a little in English would help me to learn to express myself better. I am really not a poet or a writer. It was my friend’s idea that I try this. He always tells me that I have so many rich experiences and intuition about things and people … and (how do you say?) situations.”
Mischa smiled at the handsome young man and as they both now felt the awkwardness of the ensuing silence, Mariusz asked him if he would care to join him for a cup of coffee.”
“Why, sure!” replied Mischa. “If you are certain that I am not disturbing you. Are you waiting for your friends?”
“No, no” said Mariusz. “Please sit down. My lover Bertrand and one of our friends are running around visiting art galleries all day today.”
Now it was Mischa’s turn to blush. “Bertrand? That is a man’s name, is it not?”
“Of course,” replied Mariusz, laughing and then he began to pale a bit as he exclaimed: “Oh! You thought that I am … I mean, you did not know that I am … I’m sorry. I am being silly. My name is Mariusz, and I am gay!”
Mischa was taken aback by Mariusz’ discomfort but liked the way he saved the situation in a so direct fashion … ‘not bad for a non-New Yorker’ he thought. “No problem,” he replied. “So am I … I think.”
“You think? How can you not know?” retorted Mariusz.
“I do not have any practical experience. You see, I am a Jesuit priest and I have taken a vow of celibacy, but it is becoming increasingly difficult for me to live a sex-less life while I have so many basic sexual urges and an undercurrent of feelings for other men.”
“I know all about these things, Mischa. I grew up in a Catholic home. My family is so fucking homophobic, and one of my relatives is a ‘hypocreep’.”
“Hypocreep?” exclaimed Mischa in puzzlement.
“You know … he acts like he is very heterosexual and ‘normal’, but secretly has sex with other men when he feels for it.”
“Oh,” laughed Mischa. “You mean he is a ‘hypocrite!’ Yes, this is my world too. Being in the priesthood is much the same as the American military. Officially there are no homosexual priests because no one practices sex, but unofficially anywhere possibly between 15% and 50% of priests are homosexual. The official policy is much like that of the military: “Don’t ask and don’t tell.”
“But how do you know if you are gay if you have never had sex? Have you never been to a gay bar or a gay sauna?” asked Mariusz.
Mischa seemed uncomfortable with the personal direction of the conversation, but he was bursting inside … so great was his need to talk to someone; perhaps it was best to talk to someone he did not know, and who had nothing to do with his daily lifestyle and work. “Well, I do have my urges … both in thoughts and in physical reactions to certain situations. Please excuse my shyness. I am not used to talking about these things…”
“Hey, I understand. We can talk about something else – it is okay; really!”
“No,” said Mischa. “This conversation is unexpected, and a little uncomfortable, but I think it is good for me to finally talk about these things a little. Yes, I have ventured into a few gay bars and one gay cinema but I was not confident enough to speak to anyone in the bars, and I only had sex with myself at the cinema. I felt much shame afterwards, and the experience still haunts me … I cannot get the images and feelings out of my mind.”
“Welcome to my world, Mischa!” joked Mariusz. “I can confess to you that I also sometimes deny myself sex for periods of time, but my periodic celibacy has nothing to do with religion or morals. I do it to build up my passion and my stock of semen.”
Mischa was startled by Mariusz’ remark, but felt the warmth of passion flushing into his face and the blood rushing to his genitals. Mariusz was definitely handsome, and quite different from the various gay clone types Mischa had seen on the streets and in the bars of Manhattan. He wondered if he had been able to strike up a conversation with Mariusz had he known that he was homosexual from the beginning of their meeting. Perhaps he (Mischa) had developed this radar thing … what is it called: oh yes, ‘gaydar’. Mischa had a million questions to ask Mariusz, including: ‘What is gay life like for you?’ ‘How long have you been gay?’ ‘How do you relate to HIV/AIDS?’ ‘What is it like having a lover?’, and also some questions he wanted to pose, but did not dare: ‘Do you and your lover have a monogamous or open relationship?’ ‘What do you like to do sexually?’ Instead he asked: “Can I take a look at your poetry?”
“Uhhhh … I don’t … well I guess it would be okay. But this must be solely between us – you understand – entre nous! I have never shared any writings with anyone other than my friend Thérèse and (just recently) Bertrand.”
“Entre nous”, commented Mischa. “Mais certainement! And I hope that all we speak of also will be strictly ‘entre nous’ my friend,” picking up Mariusz’ pages of scribbled poetry. Mischa began to blush as he started to read the poems, and Mariusz piped: “I should warn you that they are somewhat sexual in nature, but not especially X-rated.”
Mischa read the following poems:
Celluloid Sex Magic.
Slap me with your sex magic,
And drive me home via my nipples.
I’ve found my silver lining
In the strand of pre-cum
Drooling from your precipice.
Tease me with the flex
Of your oiled biceps
As you grab me by the hair
And draw me into the
Chasm of celluloid beauty.
Tempt me, force yourself upon me,
And — for God’s sake — stay in my
Consciousness while I examine
The photo on the next page.
Being the old-fashioned faggot
That I am, I delight in
Chasing straight boys
Until they catch me.
I buy them drinks,
Light their cigarettes,
And tell them they are
The biggest and the best.
Then I take them home
And give them what they want
And deserve —
As deep and as hard as
Mischa almost gagged on his coffee at the last poem, spilling the dark liquid all over his shirt. He excused himself to go to the WC, and returned after some time – more composed in sentiment but still with a coffee-stained shirt. “I was unable to get the coffee stain out. I am sorry … I look a mess.”
Mariusz laughed and said: “It is good to see you loosen up a bit. If only the stain had been from wine or beer … or perhaps some ‘bodily fluid’…” Mischa looked at him … first with confusion, and then suddenly uttered a nervous and controlled laugh. He muttered “Dear God!” under his breath, and looked around the cafe in embarrassment.
“You look so adorable right now!” exclaimed Mariusz, flirtingly. “Some guys find angry men sexy. I get totally turned on by ‘blushing blokes’.”
“Blushing blokes?” retorted Mischa. “Surely you are teasing me now?”
“You ARE adorable, and not so bad on the eyes either,” replied Mariusz. “Listen! I am staying at a small hotel just a couple of blocks from here. Bertrand is out for the day, and I am enjoying talking with you. I do not know anyone else here in Manhattan. Perhaps we could go back to my hotel and you can change your shirt, and then we could maybe take the Staten Island ferry, which I have heard so much about. What do you think? Do you have time, and would you like to spend a little more time together?”
Mischa was quietly freaking out inside himself. His short-cropped dark hair barely held back the beads of sweat threatening to stream downwards over his forehead – revealing his fear … and his excitement. His first thought was to tell a lie … to say that he was sorry but that he had another important appointment which could not be changed at the last minute. But Mischa was tired of lying about his urges, his sexuality … he recognized this opportunity as his window to a new identity – no matter what happened, he had perhaps just this one chance to share of himself in feelings and (dare he think it?) perhaps also physically with another person. ‘No, Mischa’, he thought to himself. ‘Not with another person, but with another MAN!’ He bit his lip slightly, looked into Mariusz’ open face and mumbled: “Sure, why not?”
Mischa felt sheepish as they strolled up to the receptionist’s desk at Mariusz’ hotel and asked for the key to the room. The male receptionist did not react at all, to Mischa’s surprise (and perhaps a little to his disappointment, as his heart was racing with expectation). Once inside the modest hotel room Mariusz disappeared into the bedroom and returned to find Mischa still standing in the entrance hallway. “Loosen up, Mischa! Here is a clean t-shirt and a long-sleeved shirt you can borrow … or even keep. I think we wear about the same size. If you wish to shower, you will find clean towels in the bathroom. Make yourself at home.”
“Thank you,” replied Mischa, extending his hand. Mariusz took Mischa’s hand into his own, lifted it to his lips and kissed Mischa’s hand … smiling and winking in a way that was at once both reassuring and alluring. Mischa blushed yet again, and hurried into the bathroom. No sooner had he entered the shower and turned away from the entrance to the bathroom than did he feel a hand graze his shoulder, a kiss touch the back of his neck, and the genitals of another man press up against his buttocks. He pulled away in shock and embarrassment, and quickly turned around … covering his genitals, and making the sign of the cross over his face and chest. “Mariusz! What are you doing?” he exclaimed.
But Mariusz had already fallen to his knees and had engulfed Mischa’s 16 centimeter-long virgin cock deep down his throat. Mischa tried to push him away, but Mariusz was too strong, too determined … and too talented. Mischa blasted a healthy, long-overdue load of hot jizz almost immediately, and in true Christian-style managed to suppress his moaning to a mere whisper … despite the difficulty given the intensity of the orgasm. Within seconds Mariusz had pulled Mischa into the adjoining bedroom and was straddling Mischa’ face – pressing his asshole and balls into Mischa’s face while stroking his cock at close hold over Mischa’s now big eyes. It did not take long for Mariusz to blow his horny, young ex-prostitute load all over Mischa’s face, the pillow and headboard … and even the wall behind the bed. “Jesus fucking Chri…!” exclaimed Mariusz, stopping himself when he realised that he was cursing in the worse possible way in front of a priest. “I’m sorry for the language, and for all the cum … but that was HOT!” Mariusz then proceeded to lick the sticky white cream from Mischa’s face, and finally plunged his tongue deep past Mischa’s tight and inexperienced lips. He reached his right hand back behind himself, thinking he would grab hold of Mischa’s cock and kiss it in gratitude, and quickly discovered that Mischa was hard again. In fact, his cock was now throbbing even more than before. There was only one thing to do … and they both knew it. Mariusz quickly pulled off Mischa, pushed him aside, and them scrambled to his knees saying: “Fuck me Mischa. I want to be your first!”
Mischa hesitated, mumbling “I don’t think we should … I mean, I don’t know if I can …”
Mariusz grabbed tightly onto Mischa’s swollen dick and replied: “You can Mischa, believe me. You can … and you must!” And with that he reached back and spread his ass cheeks, exposing his glorious portal for his novice’s bulging eyes. “Touch it.”
Mariusz patiently instructed Mischa in the art of anal foreplay, guiding him through the rituals of licking, sucking and fingering; and finally ripped open a condom package and stretched the rubber over Mischa’s fully-erect prick. Mischa couldn’t contain himself, and slowly pressed his hungry maleness into Mariusz’ opening. “That’s it Mischa,” encouraged Mariusz. “Now deeper … and harder.” As Mischa’s penetration gave way to free-fucking they both moaned with pleasure until Mischa grunted: “I am sorry. I have come.” Mischa came immediately … making a mess of the bed sheets, and they both collapsed into each others’ arms; exhausted, sweaty and depleted both physically and emotionally. Mariusz then kissed Mischa – this time more with tenderness than passion, and Mischa willingly accepted the loving gesture with affection and gratitude. “Thank you … you do not know what this means to me …” Mariusz put his right index finger on Mischa’s lips, at once silencing him. “Just enjoy this moment, my friend,” said Mariusz and snuggled into Mischa’s arms and left shoulder.
After a shower, Mariusz suggested that they get dressed and take the subway downtown. He still wanted to experience the Staten Island ferry. He had heard of a good Mexican restaurant on Staten Island and thought that they could eat lunch there. Mischa was torn. He mostly wanted to run away … and repent his actions, but he couldn’t refuse Mariusz’ offer to spend more time together. Besides, there was much Mischa wanted to know about being gay … and about Mariusz. And so it was that he consented to a ride on the ferry and lunch at the restaurant. Mischa had never before had these feelings for another person; but he realised that this was a sexual and emotional breakthrough for himself … and not necessarily the beginning of a prolonged love affair or relationship. That realisation was both comforting … and troubling. Not only had he officially broken his vow of celibacy, not only had he had (and enjoyed) sex with another man … but he had had sexual relations with another person outside of the sacrament of marriage (and even without the intent of eventual marriage). However frightening the experience felt, he knew he had gone beyond the point of return … he must find out where the road leads to, and who he (in fact) really is.
Mariusz was dressed first and was on his way to the mini bar to get a couple of sodas when he heard a knock on the door. It must be the maid wanting to clean, he thought. He called out to Mischa: “Mischa, I think the maid is at the door. Why don’t you continue getting dressed in the bathroom while I let her in.” As he heard Mischa close the bathroom door behind himself he ran his fingers through his still wet hair and proceeded towards the entrance of the hotel room. He froze stiff when he opened the door: it was Rickard!
“Rickard! What are you doing here?” he exclaimed.
“Good morning to you too, Karol Mariusz,” said Rickard noting the discomfort between them. “Since William and Bertrand are out visiting art galleries today I thought you and I could spend a couple of hours together, and perhaps talk through our differences once and for all. I acted like an asshole in London, and I thought it would good for us to put things right before you and Bertrand return to Paris tomorrow. Besides, it will make things more comfortable for the four of us when we go out to dinner tonight if you and I have called a truce.”
Mariusz replied: “That is a good thought and a kind gesture, Rickard. However, you have caught me at a bad time. I have other plans, and am just on my way out the door. I thought it was the hotel maid at the door and …”
Just then Mischa walked out of the bathroom and asked: “Mariusz, do you have another shirt that is cut a little looser. This one is a little tight around my shoulders.”
Mariusz replied: “Sure, just a minute!”. He then turned to Rickard and said: “Rickard, I feel like we finished our discussion in London. We have both moved on – you with William, and I with Bertrand. We will possibly never be the best of friends again, but we do not need to drag out any old scenarios each time we come in contact with one another. Let us spare ourselves and our lovers this indignity. I suggest that we just …”
“You suggest that we just what, Karol?” barked Rickard. “Who is that in the hotel room with you? I thought you had changed. That you are so ‘in love’ with your Bertrand. I was right all along. Let me in!” And with that he pushed Mariusz aside and stormed into the hotel room, and soon came face-to-face with a startled and embarrassed Mischa, standing in the middle of the room holding a shirt in his hand.
“Who the hell are you?” demanded Rickard in a hostile tone.
“Leave him alone, Rickard,” said a notably worried Mariusz. “He is a friend who needed a fresh shirt after he spilled coffee on himself. We stopped by here on our way out.”
Rickard glared at Mariusz and retorted: “Karol, I am not stupid. I have learned from the ‘best’ – remember? You both have wet hair, for Christssake!” Turning back to Mischa, who was very uncomfortable in the developing situation, he repeated: “So, who are you?”
Mariusz interjected: “That is none of your business, Rickard. Now please leave. I do not want another one of your drama queen scenes. I am on vacation.”
“Yeah, this was supposed to be my vacation with William … and suddenly you and Bertrand decide to tag along. Don’t tell me that was Bertrand’s idea Mariusz. What are you fucking doing here in New York anyway … what are you up to now?” Rickard was quite hot around the collar.
“You really need to calm down Rickard. This is personal, and does not involve Mischa. To tell you the truth, who Mischa is and what he is doing here does not concern you either. You know nothing about my relationship with Bertrand, and neither he nor I need a moral protector or controller. And another thing, neither Bertrand nor I horned in on your vacation. Your lover William invited us. I was originally against it, but Bertrand felt we needed a vacation before returning to Paris and when he managed to get airline tickets at the last minute I felt I could not say ‘no’.” Now Mariusz was equally worked up. He had had enough of Rickard’s outbursts and threats. “We finished this discussion about our past in London, and we reached an agreement. I expect you to let go of the past …”
But Rickard was staring at Mischa, looking him over from head to feet. “So your name is ‘Mischa’! What kind of name is that for an American?”
Mischa thought that he could perhaps calm things down if he talked to the man. That was – after all – an important part of his work as a priest: listening and talking to people. He reached out his hand to greet Rickard saying: “My formal name is actually ‘Mieczyslaw’. It is Polish. Mischa is easier for people here to pronounce and remember, so I usually just use it.”
Rickard took his hand with an extra hard handshake, hoping to counteract Mischa’s gesture with an air of formality and masculine superiority. He then turned to face Mariusz, laughing and uttered with sarcasm: “Now why am I not surprised at this? This is rich, Mariusz. Not only do you have a half-dressed man in your hotel room in the middle of the day, but he also has two names and you are also both …”
“Watch your mouth now, Rickard!” shouted Mariusz. “You are about to say something very stupid. And show some respect, please! The man is a Jesuit priest.” As soon as he had said the word ‘priest’ Mariusz knew that he had opened a new can of worms. Sure enough, Rickard picked up on this remark immediately.
“A priest, you say?” replied Rickard. “Well isn’t that purr-fect! When the cat is away the mice immediately start to play. I thought priests were supposed to take a vow of celibacy. So you are cheating on Bertrand, and Mischa is cheating on God!” Rickard laughed until tears began to well up in his eyes. “Two Polish man sluts find each other …”
Mischa began to lose his ‘cool’. “Sir, I am not a slut … and I would frankly …”
“Save it – both of you. I get the picture.” And turning to Mariusz he said: “Karol, I came here bearing an olive branch – hoping to reach out to you and resolve our past differences. But I see that I have been right all along; with you it’s all just a series of lies – from start to finish.” And turning to Mischa he said: “Enjoy yourselves boys”, before he hurried out the door.
Mariusz approached Mischa and tried to hug him, saying: “I am so sorry. Don’t pay any attention to anything Rickard said. He is an ex-lover and he has never gotten over me. I should never have …”
Mischa pulled away, quietly replying: “Mariusz. This was obviously a mistake. I really think that I should go. Where did I put my shirt?”
“Look, Mischa. I understand that you are upset … and probably angry as well. But sometimes things happen for reasons we do not understand until much later. I think that perhaps it was (how do you say?) providence that we met each other at the cafe, that we ended up here at my hotel room, that we made love, and that you truly ‘came out’ to yourself for the first time. And perhaps it is also ‘providence’ that Rickard showed up here and confronted us. In doing so he has forced us to confront ourselves – both how we have been and how we are becoming. No one can be free to change and grow as long as we hold onto our past identities, and allow others to continuously regard us in outdated ways.”
Mischa looked away, trying to avoid Mariusz intense gaze. “I don’t know, Mariusz. So much has happened today … perhaps too much, and too fast.”
Mariusz put his right hand on Mischa’s left shoulder and continued: “Mischa, the way I see it we have two choices right now. We can either immediately part our ways for good, or we can spend a couple of more hours together in celebration of a beautiful connection and a life-changing breakthrough for you. If we choose the former I fear that we will buy into Rickard’s perverted view of our lovemaking; but if we choose the latter I believe that we can both move forward into our future lives with good memories, and a sense of having loved and been loved (if only for some hours) – which would have a positive effect on how we see ourselves and ultimately how the world regards us. We can drop the Mexican restaurant if you wish. Perhaps only a short ride on the Staten Island ferry – we don’t even have to get off the boat.”
Mischa looked into Mariusz’ eyes and smiled, saying: “Mariusz, you are a very wise and sensitive man. You should become a priest.” Mariusz was startled by this remark but let Mischa continue talking without interruption. “I remember when I was a young boy my priest once told me that I would probably always wear the sackcloth. I always thought that that was a strange thing to say to a boy … at such an impressionable age. But I see what he meant now. I have always struggled between finding new ways of being and expressing myself and maintaining the status quo, which has meant that I have put myself through a lot of internal suffering all my life. But now, like you say, it is time for me to put away the sackcloth, climb down from the cross and to accept my humanity as an expression of the God within me. In other words, practice what I preach to others.”
Mariusz had sat down on the little sofa by the window, and Mischa sat down beside him adding: “You are right about many things you have said Mariusz. This is a turning point for me … and while I do not know where today’s breakthrough will lead me, I do know that I must begin to think positively about myself and my sexuality. So yes, I would like to spend a couple of hours more with you – to cap off this incredible sharing in a positive and loving way. I only hope that I have not made problems for you and your lover … or your friends …”
“Don’t think about that at all, Mischa!” assured Mariusz. “Bertrand and I love each other, are committed to one another and we have a healthy perspective about sex in and outside of our relationship. My conflict with Rickard is my problem, and it has nothing to do with you … or with him walking in on our visit together. He will either get over me soon, or he won’t. My only responsibility is to myself. I refuse to let his problems become mine.” Mariusz leaned over and kissed Mischa on the lips. Mischa returned the kiss, saying: “We had better get going before …”
Mariusz chimed in: “Before we start undressing each other again, and before someone else knocks at the door?”
Mischa replied: “Yeah, something like that.”
Mariusz grinned and said: “I hear you loud and clear. I will get you another shirt – please accept it as my gift to you. By the way, you have heard the saying ‘once you step outside of the closet it is almost impossible to get back into it’? Gay urges are addictive, and you are definitely a heavenly gift to gay men.”
Mischa blushed, saying: “Time will tell, Mariusz. God willing, I will work this out.”
Forty minutes later they boarded the Staten Island ferry. Surprisingly, it was not very crowded and they had plenty of room to themselves on the outside deck. They stood the entire way to Staten Island and back, leaning against the guardrail on the side with a view of the Statue of Liberty. They spoke of their pasts, their families, their interests in music and art and so on. Mischa was especially intrigued by Mariusz’ background as an actor, and that he had lived so many different places at such a young age. And Mariusz respected Mischa’s courage in confronting his internal conflicts regarding religion and his gayness. When Mischa asked Mariusz what it is like living a gay lifestyle, Mariusz replied: “It is like everything else in life: sometimes it is wild and exciting, sometimes it is boring and predictable … and sometimes it really fucking sucks.” Mischa thought back over the events of the day: the fantastic sex, the intimacy, the seemingly never-ending argument with Rickard which could have been taken right off a bad television soap opera … finally, the knowledge that in another fifteen minutes or so he and Mariusz would say ‘farewell’ to each other, probably never to meet again. Mischa then reached out to take Mariusz’ hand, and they both gazed out at the approaching Manhattan skyline in silence and contentment.
FROM “THE STALKER: tale of a French bitch”
In her freshman year at Sarah Lawrence, Rachel found religion … and promptly lost it. A young Catholic church music director was guest directing the non-school local community choir she was singing in, and he (Father Samuel) and Rachel found a good tone together from the start. Father Samuel was in his early thirties, had a clean-cut look and a winning smile, and he wore John Lennon-style wire-rimmed spectacles. They were rehearsing a large program of choral works by Bach, Brahms and Schubert, and Rachel had one of the solo parts. After some weeks, Father Samuel invited Rachel to help him with the youth choir at the parish where he worked – about a half-an-hour drive from the campus. This was great experience for the young music student, especially as she was considering majoring in music education. Rachel had quite a way with the young musicians and provided much support for Father Samuel, who referred to her as his “esteemed colleague from Sarah Lawrence”.
One day, while in the music archives and equipment room, Rachel suddenly felt that she was no longer alone. She slowly turned around and was relieved to see that it was Father Samuel – who was standing just two feet behind her.
“Father Samuel!” she exclaimed. “I got a bit of a start. I did not hear you come in. I guess I was so engrossed in my thoughts that I …”
Father Samuel put his finger to his lips as though to say “shhh”, but instead said: “Listen to that organ music Rachel. It is divine! The organist is practicing for the Easter Sunday mass. He is playing Bach’s Chorale Prelude “Heut Triumphiret”. Rachel closed her eyes and listened. It was indeed quite beautiful. Father Samuel was so close that she could feel his breathing. Her heart began to race from the excitement of the religious drama of the music outside the room, the silence inside the room and the closeness to a servant of the Lord. The next thing she knew Father Samuel was kissing her lips. She opened her eyes in surprise and stammered: “Fath … Sir! I … know that we are both taken in by the beauty of the music and it really is ecstatic, but I do not think that it is appropri…”
Father Samuel again raised his finger to his lips, smiled and said: “Silence my child. You are in the pasture of the Lord God Almighty. Nothing that is said or done here is inappropriate – except breaking the passionate silence of devotion with idle chatter.” And he then grabbed Rachel by the shoulders and pulled her onto her knees before him – as if to give her communion or a blessing. Instead he loosened his belt and brought out his penis. Rachel began to struggle but he held her firmly with his right hand while pumping his organ with his left hand. “Do not struggle my child … my beautiful Rachel.”
But Rachel did struggle and tore away from Father Samuel who grabbed her from behind and cupped his right hand over her mouth, pulling her bum close into him while commanding her to cooperate and to stop resisting. Rachel stomped on his left foot and elbowed his stomach, causing Father Samuel to utter: “Listen you feisty bitch, you are not the first woman to share true communion with a priest and you will not be the last. This is a privilege I am about to bestow upon you.”
He still held her firmly and Rachel struggled to free herself from the iron-clad grip over her mouth. When he lifted her skirt with his left hand and tried to pull down her panties, whispering: “Ahhh … my sweet little whore; my temptress; my vixen …” she lost it completely. Rachel immediately got a severe headache and felt like she would pass out. The entire room began to swirl – around and around, faster and faster. Then suddenly, she finally tore herself away and let out the loudest, most blood-curdling scream possible – reminiscent of her own mother’s screams during her childhood. It was a scream of a passion for freedom – freedom from Father Samuel, from the Church and from her own sense of victimization. It was the voice of Emily.
Father Samuel was aghast. “Rachel … shhhh! This is a House of God. Remember where you are for Christ’s sake.”
But Rachel was long gone – the only one to be seen was Emily, racing out the door and out of the House of the Lord, forever. Never again would Rachel sing religious music. Never again would she trust a priest. Never again would she hesitate to put a man – or her own mother – in his/her place. Furthermore, Rachel resolved after that experience to lose her precious virginity as soon as possible … and on her own initiative and terms. She thought of the Irving Berlin lyrics: “A man chases a girl (until she catches him)” and muttered to herself: “If anyone calls the shots, it will be me.” She began to frequent bars and clubs with talent nights – and this was the beginning of her musical focus on show tunes and popular music ballads. It worked out to be a good “cover” for her hunt for a man. Sexually, Rachel was not in search of a future husband but rather of a man that deserved to be her “first conquest”. Amazingly enough, her academic performance did not suffer and she managed her “double life” quite well. Her fellow students and professors still saw her as studious and classically-inclined Rachel, and on her haunts she was perceived as a sultry, sexy and mysterious budding pop-artist and a “babe”. It took some scouting around before Rachel decided on her “mark”. In fact, his name was indeed Mark …
– Shock and Awe –
Not quite fifty minutes had transpired, since Todd had fallen asleep, when the phone rang. “Yo – Todd here. What up?!”
“Hey Todd. It’s Brian, Man! What’s happening?”
“Brian, my Man! Just catching a few zzz’s here … I was out on a date – well, sort of…”
“Sort of…” replied Brian, half sarcastically. “Sounds like yet another ‘Todd extravanganza in the makin’. Shit … Rachel, Aimée, Lynda … how many bitches am I gonna haf ta walk you thru, Man? Lighten up, for godssake!”
“You, are too well-informed, Dude! Back off … I am not Google and you ain’t the NSA!”, replied Todd, with a laugh – appealing to Brian’s paranoic obsession with internet surveillance.
“You got THAT right!” retorted Brian. “But one of those two is still a whore that is getting fucked royally. Bet you can guess which one?!!”
“Yeah,” chuckled Todd. “I got my suspicions, but I claim the Fifth Amendment … besides, my goddamned phone is probly tapped.”
“By Google … or the NSA?” asked Brian.
“By a goddamned ex-girlfriend,” replied Todd. “They are bustin’ my balls, man!”
“So make a change, Dude!” suggested Brian.
“Yeah .. workin’ on it. But it is complicated.”
“Heh heh,” replied Brian. “Relationships and sex are often much too complicated … but yours are a usually a cross between a Manga film and a soap opera. What is the problem with this one?”
“Don’t ask, Man. It is too fucked up to believe.”
“Try me … I have no sex life. Everything turns me on, Dude! … the kinkier the better.”
“Well, to begin with … she is a good friend of Rachel. Problem number two: she is a lesbian. Hurdle number three: she is not only fucking with Rachel, but they are in a relationship with each other. And to top it all off … there are reasons for which I do not wish to hurt or anger Rachel right now. So I am fucked.”
“No … you will probly not get fucked. Do you at least have a plan?”
“Well – not exactly a plan, but my charm-machine is re-charged and set in motion. I am aiming for one good fuck … the rest is up to God … or destiny.”
“God or destiny,” replied Brian. “Well – you know me and religion. They are pretty much both a game of chance. Suck it up, and take the wins and losses as they cum!”
And then, about a half an hour after they had been discussing the delicate issue of how to penetrate the pussy of the delectable Angélique, my Readers, Angélique was awakened by a phone call – yes, a rather disturbing phone call.
“Rachel! Are you okay? Did you lose your footing?” exclaimed Sébastien, thinking that she was having problems walking on the high heeled shoes. “Grab hold of my arm.” He helped Rachel to her feet, and saw that she was out of sorts. Passersby were staring at them.
Rachel replied: “Thanks Seb. I suddenly felt dizzy. I probably just need some food – it must be my hypoglycemia. I only had juice and coffee this morning.” She did not want to tell him that she thought that she had just seen Todd and Angélique in the Italian restaurant that they had just passed. It was surely her imagination. Or was it? And she also felt a bit nauseous … for the third day in a row.
Holding onto Sébastien’s left arm, she steadied herself on the heels of the new shoes and breathed out – heavily, while cracking a half-smile and saying: “How much further is the restaurant?”
“It is just at the next corner,” Sébastien replied, with concern. “Can you make it?”
“Of course I can,” said Rachel, grasping her throbbing head. “Joan of Arc is my alter ego! Lead the way!”
But Sébastien insisted that they stop at a pharmacy on the way to the French restaurant, to buy some aspirin for her headache. Rachel acquiesced, gulping down two aspirin with the plastic cup of water that Sébastien had requested – fully knowing that aspirin would not help.
When they reached Chez Anatole they were seated at a table for two. The place was doing a fairly good business, thanks to the renommée acquired from the good reviews in the newspapers and by word of mouth. Sébastien was concerned and repeatedly asked her if she was alright, and how she was feeling. He saw that Rachel was still not quite herself. After a few minutes of this nurse-like concern Rachel had had enough and retorted curtly: “Sébastien! Stop! I am fine.”
Sébastien then said in French: “Mais je suis inquiet, mon bouton de rose !” (But I am worried, my rosebud!)
Rachel then snarled: “Please stop calling me ‘Rachel’ … and stop the French crap. And never call me “Rosebud” … I don’t like it!”
Sébastien was more puzzled than ever, and replied (a bit indignantly): “Excusez-moi ?”
Rachel explained: “Stop talking in French. And – my name is not Rachel. It is Emily!”
Sébastien was in shock and awe. He did not know how to respond or react. He had never seen Rachel in this state before … and she had never been rude to him like this. He decided to change the subject and let her come to her senses. He thought to himself: “Poor woman. She needs a good meal, and a drink. Some good French food. Where is that waiter?”
Rachel tried to smile, noting that she had made Sébastien uncomfortable and also that the couple at the neighboring table were looking at them. Sébastien caught the attention of a waiter and motioned for him to bring them menus. Rachel – in the meantime – had noticed a man in a priest uniform sitting several tables over to their right, together with two other men in business suits. She felt an uneasiness inside her – a burning sensation that was building up by the second. Her pulse quickened and Rachel thought that she would soon explode when suddenly the priest stood up, made a comment to his friends and started walking in the direction of the toilets. As the waiter was approaching them with the menus, Rachel leaned over and whispered to Sébastien: “Darling, I need to splash some water on my face in the powder room. Please excuse me.”
“Of course,” replied Sébastien, careful to speak only in English.
Rachel seemed to be back-in-form as she followed the priest in the direction of the toilets, showing no problems balancing herself on her heels. Once in the hallway where the toilets were located, Rachel steadied herself against the wall and waited a couple of minutes before pushing open the door to the men’s room and walking inside – careful to assure herself that no one was following or watching her. Once inside she confirmed that they were all alone. The priest was standing in front of a urinal and was lost in his thoughts. “I will give you something to think about,” said Rachel to herself. She quickly looked around the men’s room for a weapon but everything seemed to be bolted down in the austerely-furnished men’s room. About to give up and leave the toilet, Rachel then spied a metal trash receptable under the hand drier next to the door. She quickly snatched up the receptacle and repeatedly bashed the priest, exclaiming: “This is a privilege I am about to bestow upon you!”
The bleeding priest was cowering, and looking quite pitiful and shocked as he cried out: “Dear woman! What devilry has possessed you to attack an innocent priest in this way? I …”
But Rachel was no longer Rachel, and Emily was pissed. She was pissed at all priests, at all men … and at all who had ever hurt her. And she coldly responded by continuing to bash the poor man with the trash receptable while saying: “Never again. Tell your fellow thugs that they never must fuck with me.” And smashing him senseless with each word, she repeated: “DO (bash with trash receptacle) … NOT (bash with trash receptacle) … FUCK (bash with trash receptacle) WITH (bash with trash receptacle) ME!!!” She completed the ritual by throwing the receptacle at the man, who was now lying on the floor like a wet dishrag – bloody and near unconscious. Emily splashed some cold water onto her face, tried to remove as much of the “silly make-up” as possible, and Rachel (now back, and seeing what Emily had done) affected calm as she hurriedly exited the men’s room – as if all were perfectly normal. Once back in the hallway, she hurried past a cleaning woman pushing a cart – who was on her way out of the personnel toilet and entering the neighboring ladies’ room – and back to the table where Sébastien was still studying the menu.
“Ahhh, chérie ! Oops, my dear Rachel, I mean,” he exclaimed. “You are back. I have to say that I am quite impressed with the menu…”
Emily interrupted Sébastien by saying: “Wonderful, Seb! I feel much better now. But listen – I seem to have misplaced or lost my iPhone. I cannot understand … You know what?! I have undoubtedly left it in your car. I need to have it on me in case I get any messages from the club, or from Angélique. Do be a darling and lend me your car keys so I can retrieve it. I will only be about ten minutes or so.”
Sébastien looked at her quizzically, and responded: “Sure … Rach… – err I mean ‘Emily’. But what about …” he said holding up the menu in his hand.
Emily laughed and replied: “Go ahead and order for me. You know French cuisine best, love!” And with that she grabbed the keys to Sébastien’s electric blue Renault Clio, and sailed out of the restaurant.
Shortly after she had left the restaurant, Sébastien noticed that the restaurant day manager, the cleaning woman and two male waiters were making quite a commotion in the hallway where the toilets were. The cleaning woman was rather hysterical by both Bostonian and French measures. “Not good to display such behavior in a restaurant … especially a French one,” thought Sébastien. The manager then admonished one of the waiters to call the police and an ambulance. Now several of the customers were aware that something was amiss, and there was quite a bit of clamor in the restaurant. Suddenly Sébastien noticed that one of the waiters who was talking to the manager and the cleaning woman now stood there pointing at Sébastien. Soon the entire restaurant staff were staring in the direction of Sébastien and the empty chair across from him.
Rachel was full of determination as she bounded up the block towards La Trattoria di San Michele, where she had spotted Todd and Angélique. She suddenly paused a few doorways before the restaurant, then quickly changed her mind and instead went directly to Sébastien’s car, cutting through side streets, while thinking: “This is nuts. I need to go home. Angélique is surely there waiting for me.” Rachel sat herself in Sébastien’s car, grabbed her iPhone, and tried to call Angélique, but there was no answer. She then put the iPhone into her bag, and used the car’s GPS-system to plan out the quickest route back to Worcester. But her anger demanded confrontation. She thought: “That was definitely not my imagination. I DID see the two of them at the restaurant.” And then again, “I am losing it. I cannot believe that I hurt that priest. What is going on with me? Maybe I should go back to the French restaurant and apologize …”
After driving around for about an hour and fifteen minutes, and arguing with the competing voices in her head, Emily reached a decision: “I am going back to the Italian restaurant!” she screamed to herself. “Maybe I can still catch them both there.” Once back where she started, Emily burst into the almost empty Italian restaurant and demanded of the bartender to know where “the amorous couple” now were. The bartender looked into her crazed eyes and immediately called over one of the waiters who listened to Emily’s description of the two with pretended interest but also with an underlying skepticism. It was not in his nature to involve himself with the personal lives of customers that were unknown, and non-Italian – and he did not particularly want to help scorned women that were angry. “If a man decides to have an affair with someone other than his wife, it is his own business … and perhaps justified.” he thought. But he merely said: “Signora, I do not know of whom you speak. Surely you have mistaken this restaurant with another. A very nice man and woman sitting in front of the window did leave the restaurant about an hour and a half ago but …”
But Emily merely scowled and stormed out of the restaurant. Neither Todd nor Angélique were anywhere in sight. Furious and frustrated, she continued on towards Sébastien’s parked car – now parked in an alleyway, just minutes away from the restaurant – and drove to Todd’s apartment, expecting to find the two of them there – together.
Rachel had not been there for years but Emily remembered Todd’s neighborhood as though she had last been there only recently. There were no available parking spaces in front of his apartment building so she circled the block twice and then opted to park the car two blocks away. Once the car was parked, she looked into the mirror and picked at her somewhat dishevelled hair, while saying to herself: “One down … and two to go!” About twelve minutes later she was buzzing Todd’s call system.
Todd had just hung up the phone with Brian. Pulling on his jeans and a white t-shirt he quickly scampered towards the door of his apartment and spoke into the call system: “Todd here. Who is it?” Todd first feared that it was Lynda … and her thug-friends “Heckle and Jeckle”, but was surprised and relieved to hear Rachel’s voice. “Rachel! Whoah, what a surprise and coincidence!” he responded. “Come on up.”
Emily took some time climbing the stairs to Todd’s apartment. She tried to collect herself so as not to give away the nature of her “mission” all too soon. Todd greeted her at his apartment door in a jovial fashion, and invited her in. Once inside Todd’s apartment Emily confronted Todd about his “affair” with Angélique, telling him that she had seen them talking intimately at the Italian restaurant. “Cheap, Todd! You men never change your act, do you? The same restaurant – and the same routine. You are pitiful. So where is she? Where is the Jezebel?!!” demanded Emily.
Todd was aghast. Okay … he had seen Rachel pissed off before, but she had a psyched out look in her eyes right now and her body language was directly threatening. He had better try to calm her down … to appeal to her feminine ego. “Why, she is on her way home. I put her on the bus to Worcester myself. Look, Rachel … you have this all wrong. Angélique is a great girl and she loves you to death. She and I …”
Just then – through the corner of his eye – Todd saw a familiar object – a plaster bust of a woman’s torso – coming down on his head. As she struck him, Rachel said: “I am not Rachel, asshole. I am Emily – and you are toast!” She continued to bash Todd – first on his head, and then when Todd tried to protect his face and head with his arms she continued to beat him on his shoulders and back. Finally, she kicked him in the balls and stormed out of the apartment, saying: “And now for the lying French whore. We will soon see who is wearing the balls in this ménage à trois !” She stormed out of the apartment, not even closing the door behind her … and suddenly all was quiet – as quiet as the stillness before the storm. Todd knew instinctively that the storm had – in fact – not reached its hiatus. More was to come – much more, and much worse.
Todd was coughing up blood, and he hurt all over his body. He crawled over to the phone and painstakingly dialed Angélique’s cell phone. “I must warn Angélique,” he thought. “… and perhaps Aimée as well.” Angélique did not answer, and so he feverishly dialed Aimée’s number. There was no answer at Aimée’s apartment either, so Todd just hung up – hoping that she was out of town for the weekend. After a half a minute he then redialed Angélique, thinking: “Please answer, Angélique … please pick up the damned phone!”
Angélique finally answered after several rings, still a bit drowsy: “Angélique here.”
Todd shouted: “Angélique! Get out of the apartment … NOW! ‘Emily’ has just been here. She beat the hell out of me, and she is looking for you now …”
“Todd?!! What are you talking about? Have you met ‘Emily’? Where … in Boston?”
“‘Emily’ IS RACHEL, Angélique!” he blurted out, gasping. “And a very deranged and angry Rachel, at that. I believe that she is now headed your way. She saw us at the Italian restaurant, and she thinks that you and I …”
“Where is Rachel, Todd?!!” screamed Angélique into the phone. “What have you … Listen, I have to find her. I will talk to you later.” Angélique immediately hung up the phone, and frantically tried to call Rachel’s iPhone – but there was no answer. “She has tried to call me!” mumbled Angélique to herself, seeing the unanswered call from Rachel on her cell phone.. “Maybe Emily is after her too. Todd must have gotten this all wrong. He is not making sense.”
Angélique then tried to call Sébastien, who told her that Rachel was acting strange, and that she had disappeared from the French restaurant with his car keys – over two hours ago – supposedly to collect her iPhone, but she never came back. And now the police were holding him at the restaurant and looking for Rachel.
“Why are they holding you at the restaurant?” demanded Angélique, now almost hysterical.
“Because a priest was attacked in the men’s room … and a waitress apparently thinks that she saw Rachel – or someone that looks like her – leaving the men’s room shortly before the priest was discovered lying almost unconscious on the floor in there. It is all probably a crazy misunderstanding, but Rachel was acting quite weird. She had collapsed on the way to the restaurant, and she even snapped at me earlier and told me that her name was ‘Emily’. Who is Emily, Angélique? Does Rachel have a middle name or a pet name that I do not know of?”
Angélique was starting to put a few things together in her head, but she did not know how to respond to Sébastien over the phone – right there and then. Just as she was trying to concoct an evasive comment, Sébastien said: “Angélique … I must go. The police have asked me to hang up the phone. They are taking me down to the police station for more questioning. If Rachel calls you or shows up, please ask her to call me.”
Angélique sat on the edge of the bed, staring out into space – in disbelief. “Why is this happening to me … to us?” she said – over and over again.
NB. READ THESE TWO NOVELS ONLINE FOR FREE HERE!