A blonde walked into the room. Tokyo’s loins stirred like a shifting crocodile on the banks of the Limpopo … or perhaps a mole on the first day of spring … or possibly an idea about to be birthed. The point is they stirred and this took him by surprise. He had not felt stirred for some time now, which had not really bothered him much. What bothered him more was the fact that they were now stirring quite a bit and he was inclined to visualise all sorts of wanton erotic scenarios in his head. The irksome thing about this was that he knew he was in a novella for specific consumption and thought that the descriptions that played out in his mind may well be rather too graphic for this particular pallet — although he did think that it might be more acceptable coming from a him in third person — as opposed to a her in first person — especially if everyone knew that it was autobiographical for instance. And this got him thinking in sentences that started with I which did not feel right at all. For God’s sake what tense is this he asked himself looking inside his mind? Ah third person past tense. He was relieved. He still had time for a few more. He turned to the anachronism behind the ingot and asked for another. Another what? Another glass of inverted commas, of course.

Tokyo felt irritated beyond measure at the question. Wasn’t it obvious? “Single or double?” His irritation rose to breaking point as he stared at the anachronism with a look that said it all. Does anyone ask for doubles anymore?

He would have shouted if there were any of those darned exclamation marks around.

“Actually hardly anyone orders them at all anymore,” the anachronism replied in a supercilious tone.

Tokyo felt a hot flush of humiliation.

If I wanted a double I would have said so don’t you think? Are you people trained to ask if we want doubles as a matter of course?

“Actually we could not care less but I am obliged to ask you if you want a new paragraph on the side?”

Tokyo scanned the page for the blonde who seemed to have disappeared. This got him thinking about his last encounter that was with an alliteration picked up in this very location. She was a red head and he remembered how the thought of her red bush had gotten him worked up into a lusty froth and loosened up his generally ltd vocabulary. He wondered if she understood the effect the idea of her flaming pubis had on the imaginings of men from all vocabularies and if women like his wife would comprehend what a relief it was to say words like bush and pussy out loud in his mind. Probably not he thought. They would write it off as cheap and crass — not in the least bit considerate of the diffusion that lay beneath the playful reprieve of the profane. He concluded that — like his sanctimonious wife — they were probably no fun between the pages and he began to regret his upbringing, which created a pathological politeness in him — a condition that led him to a tedious marital conclusion. If he had just been brave enough to say pussy out loud, his wife may have defaulted someone else into joining her in boring matrimony.

His cerebral meanderings led him back to the red head. He had seduced her with a mixture of previously repressed words and she had slipped him a poem of sorts after they had completed their salacious soliloquies. He was quite impressed and could still recite it off pat because it had flattered him somewhat. So he did …

“After your ludicrous and rather loquacious licking of my libido and luscious lambency of my labia I could not help but lucubrate — although the luminous Lucretia within was laconically lulled by the lasciviousness of your lavish lip service the lupine lady lurking loose limbed and leering through the loophole rather loved the licentiousness of your lusty lunacy.”

He chuckled to himself and caught the anachronism looking at him askance. OK he said. I’ll have that new paragraph on the side after all — and another of these — and please can you refill this bowl of punctuations.

Tokyo’s loins resumed their stirring when he turned away from the anachronism and saw the blonde seated on an unsound juxtaposition only three sentences away. Damn, he thought. What is it about blondes that made him so incredibly horny? Was it the fact that there were hardly — if any at all — natural blondes left in the world? He presumed that she was a bottle blonde and that presumption made him feel both sexually excited and superior to her. Not to mention that her particular shade of blonde also reminded him of someone much younger than was allowed — an uncomfortable thought which virtually put an end to the pleasant rousing between his thighs but was soon replaced with imaginings which could best be described as pornographic and therefore had to remain firmly within the domain of his head. He contemplated the minimalist use of language that accompanied the plentiful pornography he consumed when his wife was sleeping and thought that perhaps it was a truly modernist expression of emotion based on the notion that it was good very good. He thought about his taste for wrestling and realised that there was very little difference in the dialogue or mentality between wrestling and porn and wondered why he — a person with such refined tastes in most things — felt it necessary to watch both — weekly. Ah well. It helped him escape — and cope with — and ignore — the potential uprising of ex-exclamation marks that were accusing him of usurping their rightful place in history. Not to forget the stress involved in his recent campaign to become the capital C of words such as capitalist, consumerist, commercial — although some would say conniving, capricious, cunt. It was hard work maintaining the tyranny of his personal democracy (!!!)

He gulped down the last of his inverted commas and throwing an ellipsis into his mouth he turned his mind to the blonde. He wondered if he should offer to buy her a double adjective and tell her about his latest delusion. That should loosen her up and who knew what the possibilities were then. He briefly remembered his anodyne wife and her insipid interpretation of eroticism — and their social standing — but pushed this recall aside when the blonde turned towards him and smiled — somewhat seductively he thought. Moving towards her he unexpectedly felt self-conscious trying to pick up a blonde in the middle of the afternoon in a novella. It may have been the manner in which an abbreviation had looked at him on his way to the next sentence — although that could have been a subversive (mssg) in reaction to a recent article which had exposed his inability to employ letter challenged staff.

He was relieved when he reached the blonde’s unstable dichotomy (w) and looked into her face, which he expected would be rather vacuous. Instead his gaze was met with a glint of urbane wit — which flustered him — he blurted out — can I buy you a dictionary? She narrowed her green eyes squashing his (ego) into parenthesis and said — why is it that all you upper casings assume that blondes are lacking in brain matter? And by the way — yes I am a natural blonde. She took his face between her pale hands and pulled him willingly towards her naked cliché, which was indeed covered with natural blonde (,,,,,,,,,). And that is where he momentarily lost himself in a kind of ecstatic suspension, which was probably best not recorded in lexis. The blonde soon tired of his antics and asked the anachronism if she could order a TALL STORY.

“Not on this page” replied the anachronism — “but you will most certainly get one in the allegory just around the corner.”

Tokyo ordered another as he watched the blonde walk out of the room.

(When Gillian is not writing or making documentaries on a range of human rights and social justice issues she writes creative and subversive fabulations. This is an excerpt from her experimental novella — After just now.)


Gillian Schutte

Gillian Schutte

Feminist, filmmaker, writer, poet, activist and author, Gillian Schutte has a degree in African politics, an MA in Creative Writing and a Film Director's qualification from the Binger Institute, Netherlands....

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