Friday, May 26, 2006

Poetry Friday: The Word is "CAVE"

Unending thanks to the handsome and talented (or is that talented and handsome?) Jeremiah for today's Group Masturbation Blogging/Poetry Friday "Word". That little word set off such a firestorm in my brain this morning, woo-wee!, it was hard to keep the thing from running away with me.

Please feel free to pepper your blog posts today with your creative take on the word 'cave'. If you have a picture of a cave, post it. If you've visited a cave, tell us about it. If you wrote a story or a limerick, or a sexy little num-bah, post it!

I have three offerings today...a story (a surprisingly long one, WTF?), a small-write, and a wee poem that started out in my head dirtier than it ended up. (Yeah, sorry.)

Have a nice LOOONG Memorial Day weekend, y'all!

Jeux Sans Frontiers

Living at Station Q2 was like living in a cave.

It was dark. It was cold. It was soaked in the kind of lonely that leads one to wonder if there’s life outside the walls, and would you go crazy insane waiting to find out.

We’d covered the walls of the Inner Dome with remembrances…photos of loved ones, candy wrappers, pictures torn from magazines and the 1972 World Book Encyclopedia collection from the Research Lab. Between checking the wind gauges, extracting core samples, monitoring the ComStat equipment and expeditions to the penguin roost, life at the South Pole was like living in the college dorms…minus the rampant nakedness.

But not all the rampant nakedness.

Francois hogged the covers, and I often found myself bare-ass naked in the pitch. Which I didn’t mind so much, but the dark, the unending, suffocating dark, made the cold seem colder, and I’d have to roll Francois over to extract what little snip of blanket I could pull out from under him. He’d usually wake up mumbling ‘Mon dieu…wot ees eet?’, and I’d cover up quickly as he turned over, then rub his naked shoulder and whisper “Shhhh…c’est bon.” I liked the fact that he shaved every week. Most of the guys didn’t. Not that I didn’t like beards, but there was something about Francois’ face that demanded hairless attention.

Y’know those movies, those chick flick movies, where the American girl meets the French man in Paris and they fall in love and then “trouble ensues” and they have to fight to save their relationship despite her ex-boyfriend coming into town, his snooty parents, and the culture clash that sends them worlds apart? I never understood those movies. I’m not much of a girly-girl, and it always seemed to me that those movies were exactly what we didn’t need to see. It’s hard enough to maintain a relationship, the last thing anyone needs is Hollywood proof that there’s always a ‘happy ending’. Because there usually isn’t.

I came here with Jean-Luc. My husband. My partner. My lover. We thought it would be exciting, in that post-collegiate rush of ‘what-to-do’, to sign on for the 12-month South Pole Expedition. Professor Goddard had enticed us with promises of exciting experiments, a location where the dean was never breathing down our necks, where cargo loads of beef and wine were dropped off regularly (for free!). We didn’t consult each other, we simply signed up on our own and then talked about it one night over dinner. Two garage sales and one Bon Voyage Party later, here we were.

Jean-Luc would still be alive if it hadn’t been for those cargo loads of wine.

That’s not entirely true. It was the wine and Patrick.

Well...that's not entirely true either.

I hadn’t suspected a thing, the schedules here being what they are…up 20 hours, down 20, sometimes 14, sometimes 36 hours if satellite maintenance was on the docket. You never know week to week when you’ll sleep, when you’ll have to work. It was dumb luck, simple dumb luck, that I crashed in on them in Bunk C when I made a wrong turn at the Hydro-Garden. I always thought Jean-Luc’s fantastic love-making skills were partly due to me, and the fact that I was his first American girlfriend. When I realized that he’d had more than his share of American boyfriends, well, that stabbed my gut so hard I almost tore a hole in the Outer Dome trying to escape the scene.

Later, at Francois’ birthday party, Jean-Luc didn’t even talk to me. He just looked at me from across the cafeteria, with that wistful puppy-expression of his, all pouty and stupid. I flirted with Francois, partly to make Jean-Luc jealous (as if), partly because it was Francois’ birthday, and partly because the week before, Francois and I had had a long session of dry-humping in the air lock.

Yeah. My bad. But not really.

Francois and I had made an instant connection, starting with the plane ride to the Station. We ‘clicked’. We knew there was something primal and sensual between us, sipping thermoses of Starbucks on the long flight, touching each other ‘accidentally’ during our animated conversations, making eye contact far too long. There was bound to be sex.

After we sang ‘Happy Birthday’ and ‘For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow’ to Francois (the latter in French, which I mostly mouthed as my French isn’t really that good), I decided to get drunk. Jean-Luc was being a total prick, and Francois was so cute, so sexy. We attacked two pallets of wine that night, several dozen of us grabbing sultry bottles of the fine French vino, uncorking them with flamboyant flourishes. I saw Jean-Luc with several bottles of his own, and I hoped he’d choke on them.

My ability to flirt is only bested by my ability to hold my wine. In both cases, the longer I go on, the sexier I become. Francois was easy. Luckily, so was I.

I didn’t notice when Jean-Luc left. I didn’t hear the air lock release or the sound of two bodies venturing out into the frozen block of ice we called home. I didn’t suspect a thing until the next morning, when I finally stumbled to my bed from the warmth of Francois’ bed, to find Jean-Luc missing.

He wasn’t hard to find.

He and Patrick had made it to the Rover. They were found naked. Embracing. One bullet hole each. I didn’t even know Jean-Luc knew how to shoot, he always was such a sissy about such things.

No one blamed me for turning to Francois for comfort. Francois made the first move, the second move, and by that time I was so tired that I collapsed into Francois, where several re-ups later, we’re receiving cargo loads of beef and wine on a regular basis, screwing in the air locks, tacking Flake wrappers to the cafeteria walls, and walking around in fur-lined slippers.

We joke that we’re like bears in a cave, rooting and eating and shitting, doing the work that has to be done so we can fuck and sleep.

Little does Francois know that I have a special shipment coming for him, something French and sweet and heady.

I wonder if I can teach him how to shoot?

I Guess, Maybe, Hazel

If it weren’t for the colour of his eyes….
Or the way he could recite entire chapters of Hemingway in our leased post-coital bed….
Or the way his French toast tasted….
He knew I’d cave.

Ever since Stephen introduced us at the Gallery opening, I tried to avoid him. I knew it would end this way. With us fucking, leaving, finding, fucking some more.

I’d push him away, and he’d come back like a Slinky recoil, pushing me back, til I rippled and expanded and pushed him against the wall or the bed, until my body won.

Never winning the game.

All it took was that look, that sideways glance and smile, those eyes that were sometimes greenish-blue, sometimes brown, sometimes like the sky after a storm. All it took was that look.

I’d cave.

I’d ripple and expand and push him again and again and again against the wall, the bed, until my body won.

Give me your hand.
You see?
That’s the difference.
The warmth.
Do you feel it?
Do you like that?
I like that.
Fingers at the entrance.
The dark like all darkness.
You see?
You call it
my cave.
But it's


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