From Jester To King XCVI
By Simon Barget
The girls I went after took many forms but the end result was always the same, abject disappointment, and a feeling of having been taken for a ride. The girls had different names, Karen, Karolina, Kaisa, Kelly, Kimberley, usually always something with K, but they pretty much looked identical. They were small petite with neat blonde hair, small noses -- tiny little noses -- milky white skin with perhaps a few freckles; Heidis they weren’t, but their abiding quality was this good health they exuded, this good nature, this sense that they looked ahead never mincing their words, never hiding anything or having a dark thought in their body, and this final thing was probably the trait that caused me the most consternation.
And there were so many incidents, I mean there have been so many, where I wanted but lost out, where I was pushed to one side, not that the girl ever even knew it, where she just hung on to her happy-go-lucky disposition after the event as if nothing bad had happened. One of these times was at the Japanese onsen with Peter Ulrich. Peter was god-knows-how tall and staying in a room with us, me Katie and him. And I was certainly pleased enough to be in a room with her, to be near where she slept, but the beds were in these confusing arrangements, where they met at the base to form a skewed cross so that our feet were all at the base where they met but our heads not touching. But then some nights the beds were in different places and there’d be fewer or more, and sometimes this meant I’d walk in on Peter and Katie and they’d spend the night together with me there as a bystander. And so rather than just let this all happen without objection, I told Peter Ulrich he couldn’t stay any longer, what I was thinking, though I’m not sure if I said it, was that he was so tall there was no way that Katie The Trinket could possibly be interested, that it must be the natural thing for her to want to be free from him, for him to accept that the conditions were not right to keep them together. But he was having none of it. Whether it was just our inclination to be obstinate, I don’t know, but I had this sneaking suspicion just as I’d said it that the more I made public my affinity for these K-Girls, the more people were going to linger, obstruct my path, and I really felt that if Peter Ulrich hadn’t been there in this instance, then Katie and I would have been together and touching, doing all those touchy-feely things you do with your lover, hearts beating, smelling the skin, because the vibe I got from her was not just that she was interested but that she was actually with already with me. Meaning this thing with Peter Ulrich was a filler that could be put to one side once he’d been ejected. Which goes partly to explaining why I regretted my actions, my attempts to shoo him away, because something told me that he’d have gone on his own to leave Katie with me.
But then it got worse, and after he stayed he snuggled right up by her side, and they were talking to me as if we were a family, I the young son, and I lay in my bed and couldn’t work out why and what I’d done wrong, what I’d done to deserve being usurped, and every time I looked at him, I saw how he just wasn’t the guy for her, and every time I looked I felt so clearly how I was (the right guy), and the thing was a mess, and the type of mess I’d seen all too often. But like I said at the start, she just carried on being chirpy, there was no sense of guilt, or confusion, nothing in her psyche, she was unfazed and just acted as if the most perfectly natural thing to have relations with one random man in front of the other you loved. And once, as if to hammer home the physicality of their tryst, Peter looked up to me and said, look, Toby, this is how we kiss if we want to and they both puckered their lips and made these little kissy movements but I don’t think the lips touched and it was almost even worse having to wait for the moment when they did as they moved their mouths closer and closer till I couldn’t really make out if they were together or apart.
And then all these other times at the clubs, and I’d spot her, it was Kylie, I’d see her immediately before all the other girls, and such a powerful effect it exerted, this clear blonde light thing going around with her smile and her fizz, and the effect was so strong that I just couldn’t go near her, and then before long there’d be some guy come up from nowhere and standing right by her, and there’s me watching kind of knowing she was for me, waiting for the moment to go up, still thinking I had all the time in the world, trusting in her love for me, but then I’d look back up to see something bad had happened, let’s not say exactly what it is, once it was even Rodney Marco the perpetrator, and why these girls who evidently liked me didn’t come right out and say it is still a mystery as well as a source of despair.
One day in the Onsen I woke up to that feeling after a beautiful sleep, and it was unusual for me to sleep so deeply, even in the Onsen, and before I could get my bearings, I felt Katie’s little hands on my back, smoothing and rubbing it. I cannot describe how comforting it felt, how relieved I was, I let go of the resentment, I didn’t’ have to hang on to it any longer, it could just disappear without explanation, I didn’t have to be guarded and I could sink down and relax completely. I felt comfortable being aroused in another man’s presence. And when I did, I thought to myself how wrong I had been about her, because Peter was still right there, and so I wasn’t the little son with no place of importance, I was equally entitled to be touched and turned-on, and when she saw me realise this, she might have smiled but just carried on, and Peter Ulrich was completely phlegmatic about it and so there was absolutely nothing to worry about at all, I didn’t have to hide my enjoyment, and then I had this notion that this Katie wasn’t for one or the other, that we could share her, and what sharing would look like exactly I didn’t know, but it was ok for the moment, so who was to say that it couldn’t continue for the foreseeable future.