Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Fiesta of Smoke: Hill’s Teenage Sex Life

Today’s post is an excerpt from my recently completed novel, Fiesta of Smoke. In this snippet, Hill is musing about Calypso and recalls the opening salvos of his life as a sexual being. First, there was Janna, a redhead with porcelain skin, whose elbow he admired in class. And then came Ellen . . .

Presently, I’m involved in Round 2 of editing and revising the manuscript of Fiesta of Smoke. I hope to have the revised copy in the publisher’s hands sometime next week.

For those who may have missed them, a synopsis of Fiesta of Smoke can be found on the January 5, 2012 post; the Prologue, on January 8; an introduction to the protagonists Calypso, on February 3, Javier, on February 20 and Hill on March 2; Calypso and Hill Dine was posted on March 14; More of Calypso and Hill, on March 30; More of Calypso and Hill–2, on April 10; and Calypso’s Apartment, Place des Vosges, on April 19.

. . . .

He turned 15 in December, when black ice was on the roads and cattle were blown into fence corners and frozen to the barbed wire. Janna’s elbow, he was sure, was all that sustained him through that bleak season, with his hormones all dressed up with nowhere to go.

When spring finally came and new grass started to drive through the ground like nails, he was a prime candidate for testosterone poisoning, if such an affliction existed. It wasn’t that Janna’s elbow wasn’t sublime in every respect, but it just wasn’t enough anymore.

Enter Ellen, with her ruddy skin, straight brown hair pulled back into an askew ponytail and pimples peppering her chin, who contrasted with Janna’s porcelain delicacy like a heifer beside a racing filly.

Ellen’s father had moved West from New York because of a bronchial condition, to operate a small appliance fix-it shop downtown. They moved into the house next door, recently vacated by the death of Mrs. Conchlin, who finally cashed it in at 97.

Ellen was an only child and a precocious one. She spoke of New York as if God lived there and of Boulder as if it were the 8th level of Hell. She was worldly, raucous and, it turned out, as hormonally harassed as Hill.

He had known her for exactly one week when she fired her opening salvo. They were in his room and she was reviling Boulder and talking about Christmas windows on Fifth Avenue, when she suddenly said (amazing how the words could still be etched in his mind, more than thirty years later), “Wanna see my pussy?”

Hill remembered experiencing a sensation of lightness, of suspension of time, as if his mind had suddenly been sucked into a space warp. About three months later, he managed to stammer, “What? What did you say?”

Ellen looked him straight in the eye, clearly aware of her effect, and said again, “You heard me. Ya wanna see my pussy?”

Hill was sure that in later years he had been more coolly collected when he went to interview Fidel Castro, whose pearl-handled .45 lay ominously beside him on his desk, than he was beneath Ellen’s relentless stare.

“What do you mean? Here? Now?” Hill could see in retrospect that he had not been an exact model of suavity.

Ellen grinned. “Sure,” she said.

Hill’s mind had cleared, finally, and he was very, very certain of two things: he did most definitely want to see Ellen’s pussy; and, he didn’t want to see it here, in his room.

Looking back on it, Hill could see that this was really an interesting revelation of his own character. It wasn’t so much that he was afraid of being caught, although that of course would have been mortifying beyond belief. It was that he didn’t want to worry about being caught.

He didn’t want to divide his attention, one ear cocked for his mother’s footsteps on the stairs, bringing freshly-laundered socks to his drawer or calling him to bring Ellen down for cookies. If he was going to see Ellen’s pussy--and now he was determined that God Himself would not stop him from seeing it--then he wanted quiet and privacy.
Hill took a swig of coffee, the last one and cold, and chuckled. One should worship at any temple in peace and concentration.

He instantly knew just the place to take her. It was a little hollow beside a creek where he sometimes went fishing and to masturbate over Janna’s elbow. It was about a mile from the house, an easy walk, and the place was solitude itself--overhung by alder trees, surrounded by berry bushes and padded with a small but thick patch of grass.

He was ready to grab her hand and drag her out the door that very minute, but it was almost dinner time and he knew they were about to be called away to their respective tables.

In an agony of uncertainty--what if, later, she had changed her mind?--he said shakily, “What about tomorrow? I know a good place.”

Ellen looked at him with real disgust. He could only guess, these many years later, that her hormones must have been in even more of a rage to live than his. She pulled down the corner of her mouth, wrinkled her nose, jabbed the rug with her toe and said listlessly, “Okay.”

. . . .

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