Dear Joanie,

Friday, 17 June 2011

Last appointment with Severin, today. I suppose it’s nice that my tooth is fixed, but I did come to enjoy those weekly visits. Well, not the noisy, invasive goings on in one’s mouth.  But it was quite clear, almost from the start, that Severin has a thing for me. And I find that fascinating.
What is so unusual about that? you will say. And, of course, men having a thing for me could not be more commonplace. Barely a day goes by when someone doesn’t fall head over heels in love with me. I suppose it delighted me once, long ago – when I was 14? By the age of 15 it had already become so much boring routine.
But, you see, a dentist…I’d have thought dentists would be naturally immune, wouldn’t you? How horrid it must be, to look into all these unappetizing mouths! It would revolt me. Of course I know that my teeth are nearly perfect, and my former dentist, Marc Unzinger, complimented me on my ‘aesthetic’ mouth – teeth nicely lined up, not too large, not protruding, gums not even thinking of receding. And of course my oral hygiene is excellent, I make it a point to brush my teeth with full attention twice a day, come rain or shine.
Yet any mouth remains a grotto of saliva, unpleasant odors (this would hold true for the general populace, if not for you or me), food rests (horror!) and grotesque slabs of meat called tongues, positioned ever so unflatteringly when the dentist’s equipment enters (I beg your pardon for that most suggestive phrasing.)
I wouldn’t look into one for the world. Even when I am deeply in love, I prefer not too think too much about what’s inside, when I kiss a man. The body does not hold up to close scrutiny, I always say. Good – that is, sparse – lighting is of the essence. I cannot emphasize this enough.
So I never imagined that a dentist could fall in love with any of his patients, even me. I suppose an internist might, a podiatrist, or even a surgeon – once everything is sewn back up, one can forget the bloody nightmare one has been privy to. And I have received most flattering attentions from all such medical men. But not a dentist. As Freud did not consider his own children and family to be people with a subconscious, so the dentist probably considers his loved ones immune to plaque or tooth rot. How else could he ever kiss his wife?
And yet, Severin fawns over me every time I sit down in that clunky chair, flirting with me even as his tools probe the depths of my mouth. I try not to look into his eyes while he labours away. But that’s hard – whenever he can, he looks into mine. Which, naturally, disturbs his concentration, so that the dental work suffers.
Proof, once again, that being the object of so much male desire isn’t always a pleasure!

Dear Naomi,

I’m sorry, too, that we haven’t seen much of each other lately. Has it really been ten years? I suppose we’ve both been very busy. Are you still with Herman?
Last Thursday, darling, I passed within 200 miles of your house in the Charente, on the way from Bordeaux to Paris. Would have stopped by, had it only occurred to me, and if I hadn’t already promised to spend the night with Giorgio and Matt. Well – spend the night…not that way, of course!
I’m entirely not the type to enjoy having sex with two men. It’s surprising how many people enjoy that sort of thing, don’t you find? Carl was always going on about how he’d love to sleep with two women. In fact, he had the specifications all ready:  they had to be two redheads, and they had to be twins.
One day he actually ran into redheaded twins in a bar in Seattle, and of course he felt this was a sign from God. And that’s not a manner of speaking: in his own bizarre way, he was as religious as your average mental institution inmate, believing that God followed his every step with keen interest and gave him Signs left, right and center. As if God doesn’t have anything better to do with His time…So, in his mind, the twins had been planted by the Lord to give him the best sexual climax he had ever experienced.
Here’s the surprise to this story: the twins accepted his offer, and he actually spent a night of Hot & Sweaty with them. The only downside? They were ugly as all hell, early fifties with thick glasses (sorry, darling, not implying that people with glasses are generally unattractive – I wear reading glasses, myself, occasionally), and half an hour into the thing one of them burst into tears because she’d never been with a man before and hoped ‘this would lead to a relationship’. The plainness of the women, and the virginity and despair of the one were not in Carl’s dream scenario, of course, but it was what God wanted for him, and you can’t argue with that.
You must have heard this sort of thing a lot from men – the Two Women thing. Common as it may be, I’ve never had a desire to have it on with two men. On top of that, the two dear men in question, in the Charente, are gay – so the whole thing would just end in a terrible fiasco. I have, in my younger days, made an effort to cure several men from this unfortunate affliction, but to no avail. I don’t mean to toot my own horn (that is so vulgar! as is the expression itself, of course) but it does seem obvious that if can’t turn them, the whole thing’s hopeless.
It’s a scary thing, to me – gay men. Alice likes to take me to homosexual hangouts – to the “Petunia”, for instance, and while their tiramis├╣ is great, I was taken aback, almost physically taken aback by the positive wall of a cold front I walked into. It was only then that I realized just how much attention I get from men. When it’s absent, I get clammy and nervous. Do you ever feel that way?
The dreadful thing is it makes me doubt my femininity,  my physical attractiveness. And I neverdoubt my attractiveness. That’s why I don’t like to hang out with gay men. It’s different with Giorgio and Matt, of course – they adore me. And Giorgio is from too good a family to make one feel anything other than extremely sexually desirable.
My usual migraine coming on – will write more, soon, love,

Dear Helen,

Thank you so much for your kind card. A courtesy many people forget, in such cases. I am feeling a little better, but we all miss Stanley dreadfully.
Burke, too, has shed a tear. Well, not the sort that actually rolls down one’s cheeks. But his eyes welled up when he looked at Stan’s stiff, dear body. “Thank god he won’t be humping me anymore,” he said. I heard the emotional strain in his voice.
It’s true that Burke always took the brunt of Stanley’s sexual drive. Pugs are incredibly sexual, did you know? Of course many dogs have urges, but our darling Stanley took the humping to quite an extreme. He would glare at one with wild, angry eyes, and then come running and exert his passion on one’s arm, with a furious look  that said ‘don’t you dare try to stop me’.
Burke would lightly push him away, which would make Stan all the more frenzied, a mixture of passion and rage. If he got very displeased by Burke’s rejection, he would even bite him, so Burke usually gave it up and let Stanley have his way with him. Oddly enough, Stan never quenched his desires on me - a dog of strange tastes.
Barnaby is of course much less lascivious than Stan, especially since his chemical castration. I always wonder, by the way – why can’t they do those on men? So much simpler than the whole vasectomy thing, which I personally don’t like because men tend to complain of all sorts of little aches for weeks afterwards, so that one is wholly put off one’s feed, if you see what I mean. Of course, now and then even Barney suddenly discovers a Love Object, and when he does, he won’t take no for an answer.
Wasn’t it funny the way he used to climb on top of Dr. Veltman? Simply hilarious! No matter how vehemently poor Barnaby pawed Dr. Veltman’s stomach and bit and sucked on his ear lobe, Dr. Veltman had no clue what was going on.
“Yes, yes, you’re a good dog,” he would say. Or, if he was very put upon: “Why don’t you go play with your fire truck, now?” But he was never on to Barnaby’s carnal lust for him, even when the dog humped his arm furiously. I just didn’t have the heart to tell him what was going on. So innocent, Dr. Veltman…Even his almost fanatical devotion to me seems quite chaste and pure – Thank God!
I have put your card on the mantelpiece, my dear, with similar attentions from other friends. Nothing from Joanie – she can be quite cold, can’t she. I love her, of course.

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