From Jester To King LXXXVII
By Simon Barget
I’d been going out with scrubbers for a while till Emily Giul came on the scene. There was always a stream of ready women at my disposal at my mother’s house; au pairs, home helps, cleaners and laundry women, all of whom took a shine to me and it was always a breeze to get my wicked way with them. But the girls were so basic and one-dimensional. Perhaps I’d enjoyed their company and the sex at some point, perhaps I’d enjoyed the attention. Perhaps I’d come to think that the women you end up with are the ones who fall at your feet that you don’t need to make the slightest effort with. For example Letitia with her big bouncing black boobs, pretty attractive in a happy-go-lucky kind of way, so good-natured and ready to do anything for me. And I became spoilt and lazy. But then Emily the lady turned up. I mean she wasn’t a lady in age, far from it, but she was a different fish altogether, when she came in I sensed something new in her stance and her deportment, the way she stood straight up and upright, the way she moved so economically without superfluity. The way her face was different. Sort of pulled and tightened into something more serious and wan, something betokening an understanding of deep and precious things, something showing she knew exactly how to hold herself to get what she wanted. And when she came in I felt this enormous sense of occasion as if my whole body had risen to it too, responding like hers with all the subtle movements and feints, and I felt I had rediscovered a lost part of myself, the one which could just sit and look, could move my fingers just a few inches one way or another, could sit quietly at the table with such movement being enough for everything. And at the beginning I didn’t really fancy her, there wasn’t much to fancy. Quite a thinly drawn face, tight eyes, no real lashes to speak of, thin lips, none of the features a young woman is made for, nothing lush and plush and full-bodied, but it turned out that the absence of these was entirely the thing that ended up getting me. And the sex was a whole other level. There was something stern in her beauty, or to put it better, her beauty lay in her sternness and her capacity to discern. As I got to know her I realised she knew everything about everything which included everything about me. I lavished in our meals together, again always feeling her strictures, proud of this searing discernment, enlivened and proud that my mother was seeing someone with such acute refinement and finesse, raising the game to a place we’d not been to, and Letitia and all the other girls who still sometimes hung around could immediately see that they were lost causes. I had no sympathy. I felt I had wasted my time on them and might have carried on doing it if Emily Giul hadn’t turned up and thank god she did.
Then we went to the tiger enclosure for the inquiry and conference. Those accused of molesting the tigers weren’t there themselves but there were a fair few social activists in the front of the auditorium, taking up the front seats, shouting and hollering, and when they showed the video of the tigers, no one in their right mind thought that the tigers were actually in the enclosure, until some sort of minor commotion ensued and I turn around to find that they’ve pushed all the rear barriers right up to the seating cage, meaning that something was trying to get in, and I wasn’t overly alarmed but as I looked back I felt this kind of pecking at the joint part of my ankle where the bone protrudes and I could not believe that there was a real and poisonous vibrantly-coloured snake repeatedly biting the flesh and I was alarmed not so much by the pain but by the fact that I was being bitten by a snake here, and wasn’t it quite serious to be bitten by a snake, but no one was paying much attention at all, and was it now a matter of time before the tigers themselves were going to charge in and start mauling us?