Absinthe Oranges and Alligators
It’s the Saturday before Fat Tuesday “Mardi Gras” and New Orleans is in full swing like the tits on a woman jogger. The French Quarter is so packed you can tell what flavor of gum the person next to you in the crowd is chewing. The smell of vomit, piss, and day-old beer fills the afternoon air. It’s the aroma of a decaying city that shall rise from the pestilence, the filth and garbage on Ash Wednesday.
I’d had more than I could stomach of the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd. Women flashing sagging, stretched-out, wrinkled fake tits for plastic beads made in China. Drunks staggering aimlessly, unable to navigate through the throngs of fraternity boys and tourists screaming “show us your tits!”
Locals are convinced the reason New Orleans is sinking is due to the weight of all the imported beads.
I decide to get the hell outta the French Quarter and heel toe express it to St. Charles Street and catch some parades, with a more passive and less inebriated group.
The Crew of Bacchus always presents an exciting, colorful and festive parade. This year it more than lived up to their past performances. As Bacchus rolls by on his Chariot of grapes shrouded in purple, I hear the voice of an angel whispering in my ear from behind.
“Hey Sailor, looking for a good time?”
I turn around, abruptly spilling my cup of Johnny Walker on the mysterious voice and myself.
“Of all the parades, in all the towns, in all the world, you’ve gotta show up at mine,” I say with the worst Bogey imitation ever spoken.
“Sailor, you’re suppose to drink that there whiskey, not shower in it,” she says with a smile. She wipes the spilled liquor from her chest and puts her booze-soaked fingers in my mouth.
“Yummy like sugar, huh sugar?” she whispers in a Cajun drawl that causes my heart to race.
“Tell me Santiago, you still hooked up with that coon-ass queen slut from Irish Bayou? Or do I finally get my chance to fuck you ’til tomorrow becomes a memory?”
Now, I want to just jump on that bus of suggestion like a commuter late for work, but I decide to play it poker style, just checking her raise. What a cosmic event, running into Gitane after five years. I knew this exotic, erotic, and somewhat toxic mulata princess from my days of living in Fat City, when she bartended at Pat’s Pub. The woman she’s referring to is Pamela, pronounced pa-mel-la, an old flame of mine that was extinguished after I finally pissed on it.
“I am no longer engaged in sharing that tangled web of lies and lunacy with that spider of a woman. She ran off with the bass player of some Aerosmut cover band. The word around Irish Bayou was that she got pregnant and he abandoned her somewhere in Nevada. Now that’s some bad fucking luck… Nevada, God’s toilet. Dream woman dream until your dreams come true!” I sing, raising my glass in a toast. I’ve since grown fond of Tyler and his band; seems I have discovered the reason why.
Gitane grabs me and lays a kiss on my lips that would make cooked spaghetti hard again.
“Well sugar, whatya say? It’s Mardi Gras baby, time to throw out the old an bring in the new.”
“Did you say bring you in nude?” I joke.
She just smiles and grabs my hand.
“Santiago, you always make me laugh. I’ve got some LSD, a bottle of green fairy direct from France, my body achin’ for some tender loving and no one to share with. Come on sugar, we were meant to be together, this meeting wasn’t by chance! My aunt Gerty read my tea leaves yesterday and it was in the stars. You don’t wanna disappoint aunt Gerty, she jus’ might put a Gypsy curse on ya. Laissez los Bons Temps Roulez,” she sings.
Here we go, Cajun Gypsy curse, how does anyone accept this type of bullshit as gospel? I pretend to be afraid with a display of my body shaking and a terrified facial expression. It evidently doesn’t appear to be all that convincing, because she starts laughing.
“I certainly can’t chance hurtin’ aunt Gerty’s feelings,” I say, “what a callous fellow I would be.”
We start walking to her apartment on Napoleon, her arm around my waist, mine around her shoulders. Strange, but I suddenly develop a taste for a cup of hot tea with honey.
I’m not one to express my softer side, but this is turning into quite a romantic moment. I didn’t just write that did I? I did? Damn, I must be becoming a romance novelist.
“So tell me baby, what brings you back to the Crescent City?” she pries. “You aren’t still doing that work for Marcellus, are you?”
“What work, for whom, and where did you hear such exaggerated bullshit like that? Don’t start believing rumors, Gitane. I’m just an unemployeed musician on a quest to capture those mythical golden notes belonging to the melody of magic.”
“Uh huh, and I’m really a princess kidnapped by Gypsies when I was just a baby. Now I’m leading a life of palm and tarot card reading to make my living. I’m learning what a humble life is like before I’m discovered and restored to my throne to reign as queen, now that my mother has died.”
“I always suspected just that! You possess a regal air about you, the demeanor of royalty.
Your Majesty, I do admire your talent for story telling.”
“Oh stop flattering me. Still your charming old self, Santi. That story is so Sam Clemens it rings of Twain. So are you?” she asks again. “You know, working?”
“Where? What work you say?”
She slaps me in a loving manner and doesn’t inquire again. However, she hit the proverbial nail on the head, driving it deep into my thoughts. I was there waiting for a load of cocaine to deliver to Chicago within the next few days.
The crowd grows as the sun begins to set, permitting the night to spill its darkness into a jealous sky pouting over the absence of its stars, their sparkle obscured by the clouds bullying their way into the space left by the sun’s retreat. The moon grows larger and brighter as the Earth turns, spinning night’s beacon of light into a brilliant white.
New Orleans becomes a completely different city at night. The scent of magnolia blossoms travels on every breeze. The sweet gum and oak trees appear taller and seem to scratch the sky with their fingered branches. Sounds burst through the lazy silence, celebrating with notes of noise that fill the air with the music of darkness. I watch the light from street lamps dance on her brown skin, highlighting the minute, almost invisible hairs on her arms. Her hair smells of lavender and her skin is soft like the fur of a sable.
“Santi, would you like to spend the night with me? It’s Sunday tomorrow and I don’t have to work. Thought maybe we could go to Mandeville and visit my mother and sister. We could bring a king cake, drink some home-brewed moonshine and get silly. You remember my mom and ‘dem from the Christmas party at the bar a couple of years back. She took a shine to you, ya know.”
“Can I spend the night? Baby, there was a time when I wanted to spend my life with you. You loved me but you just didn’t know it. Sounds like a perfectly pleasant day. Yeah baby, it’s a date.”
We reach her apartment, which is actually a house that has been split down the middle, making two shotgun homes. They’re refered to as shotgun houses because you can open the front and back doors, stand on the porch with a shotgun then shoot straight through the house. The buckshot exits out the back door without hitting a single thing.
It’s a quaint and welcoming home with lace curtains, doilies on antique tables next to an oversized davenport, covered in a crushed velvet material.
“Come on sugar, let’s take a shower. It’s in the bathroom in my bedroom. The other is outta commission right now. Come on, get outta those whiskey-soaked clothes and let me give you a dirty shower…”
I’m not really all that soiled or soaked from the whiskey incident, but I’m certainly not going to object to a dirty shower. I’m naked in a matter of seconds, sitting on the bed as I watch her undress. She turns on the radio and dances, performing a strip tease for my pleasure.
“Mardi Gras mambo, Mardi Gras mambo down in New Orleans…”
I’m totally captivated by her body and the way she gives purpose to rhythm of the melody. She reaches into her dresser and pulls out a small bottle containing the acid. She floats over to me and places a tab on my tongue, which dissolves in my mouth. Pulling at my arm after consuming her own dose, she leads me into the shower. The water pulsates from one of those adjustible spray shower heads with a thousand different settings.
“I see you left the setting on masturbate. How can any man compete with an instrument that possesses the ability to provide non-stop, pulsating pleasure?”
“Don’t embarrass me sugar. Yes I use the shower to pleasure myself from time to time, but it’s a poor substitute for a man. There’s no intimacy, no loving touch, no body next to you, skin to skin. The excitement of his breath becoming more and more rapid, the sound of his heartbeat…”
While lathering up a bar of soap between her hands, she gets on her knees and takes my cock into her mouth, gliding back and forth in slow motion. After a few minutes, her hands begin to move smoothly in short strokes up and down the shaft.
I cum long and hard, groaning in pleasure, my legs weak and shaking as she stands, tenderly kissing my body all the way back up. Her lips are soft and velvety, her tongue moving slowly, passionately in my mouth.
She stops and whispers, “Did you enjoy your dirty shower sugar?”
I’m at a loss for words, literally unable to utter a syllable. Gitane start to laugh but I can’t find any humor in my dilemma. I am beginning to feel the LSD coming on. My mind is lucid and my body is experiencing rushes that originate from my head, trickling down to my lower extremities. I exit the shower and Gitane is lying naked on the bed waving a multicolored scarf above her head, totally mesmerized.
“Baby, are you getting off on the acid?” she asks.
“Yes, I’m fucking tripping heavy baby. Like someone climbing the stairs with their shoe laces tied together, this shit is awesome. Hey Majesty, I’m going to put on some music, open the bottle of absinthe and release the green fairy. Do you want a cocktail baby? Of course you do, what am I thinking? I’m going to “louche” the absinthe, do you have sugar cubes?”
Suddenly I realize that I am speaking out loud. I’m curious why light bulbs are shaped like they are and start thinking of how profound and crucial the question has become. I find a gap in the traffic of thought rushing through my mind, remembering that I was going to do something that required sugar cubes.
“Santi, do think that clouds are good things or a bad things? I mean they bring storms, rain, snow and they unleash violent tornados and hurricanes that destroy things, but they are so alluring and pretty… They look so puffy and soft, creating different pictures shaped like almost everything. They’re like art in the sky, they’re the angel’s Play Doh…”
I’d feel a bit silly and quite embarrassed if I were to bring up my light bulb epiphany just then. It seems so trite compared to Gitane’s deep observation.
“Gitane, that was beautiful and profound,” I tell her. “The manner in which you expressed your thought was classic Joyce Kilmer. She was the poet that wrote the poem about the beauty of a tree. The angel’s Play Doh! Classic, baby…”
I decide to put on her robe. It’s one of those satiny materials with a feathered boa attached to the neck line. I take a look at myself in her full-length mirror hanging on the closet door, and I’m surprised at how attractive I appear.
“Santi, are you a crossdresser?” she screams. “You like wearing women’s clothes! Let me dress you up, please, it will be so much fun! I think there’s film left in my camera.”
“I’ll indulge your obsession to dress me up, but no fucking pictures. I need to put on some music, then pour us some absinthe that I’m going to louche. Now, do you have any sugar cubes, for the second time?”
She awakes from her LSD trance and momentarily grasps a small portion of reality, just enough to answer my inquiry.
“If you louche, you’re gonna need sugar cubes, Santi. You’ll find them in the left upper cabinet by the sink, and the absinthe spoons are in the drawer under the same cabinet.”
If you’re not familiar with absinthe, a quick lesson: It’s a spirit that originated in Switzerland. The wormwood tree provides the major ingredient, producing cognitive brain functions leading to hallucinations when consumed in excess. It gained its popularity in France, during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Many artists and writers such as Hemingway, Poe, Rimbaud, Lautrec, Picaso, and Van Gogh all chased the green fairy, believing it enhanced their creative abilities. I drink it because I become sexually aroused and it creates intimacy, much like ectasy or mescaline.
Gitane enters the kitchen as I’m pouring the absinthe over a sugar cube. It slowly drips into the glass from a spoon with holes acting as a sieve.
“Santi, I want an absinthe cocktail now…” she whines.
“Almost ready baby, damn you look incredible, absolutely gorgeous. You are a vision of lovliness.” My comment was the gospel truth; she is more than I ever imagined, a classic work of art.
The absinthe was ready, and our glasses clink in a silent toast accompanied by her sensual smile. Some spills on her chest as she shoots the entire glass down. The drops roll down her breasts from her chest to her stomach, tiny green tears of pleasure begging for my lips to sip the green droplets from her body. After licking the drizzled liquor from her breasts I drop to my knees and begin to suck it from her stomach. She pulls my head against her and I do not resist. Purposefully, she spills a bit more, giggling as the absinthe cascades down her body and into my eager mouth.
“Santi, I want sex but it’s different than what you may be use to…” she says.
Different than what I may be use to? I hardly think so! I’m no Don Juan or Cyrano, but I’ve been around the block a few times and have experienced some strange sexual practices.
“Sure baby, anything you want,” I say, “just tell Santi.”
She walks to the refrigerator and retrieves a large bag of oranges. Alright, orange body shots, I happily assume is our recreational sex game. She sets the bag of oranges on the table and walks back to the fridge, placing her back against it. She looks at me and smiles.
“Now Santi, throw an orange at me please…”
Without hesitation, I rip open the bag, grab an orange, and casually lob the fruit at Gitane. She makes no attempt to catch the orange, and it bounces off her left breast.
“Yes baby, but harder!” she instructs. “Throw it at me harder, I want to cum…”
I grab another and throw it with more force. It makes its mark just above her pussy, leaving a large red spot no her groin.
She’s moaning like a cat in heat, screaming, “Yes baby, yes, harder, again harder!”
I grab another orange, wind up like a big league pitcher and let it go. The fruit strikes her belly and I respond quickly with another then another. I continue with a barrage of oranges, hitting her tits and legs. She spreads her legs and with her fingers she opens her vagina.
“Here baby, here, come on Santi! I’m so close to cumming….”
I’ve tried to win those ridiculous stuffed animals at county fairs and carnivals, throwing balls at targets with no success. Now I needed to hone my skills and make an accurate throw.
I wind up and bingo, I hit the spot!
She writhes and moans in pleasure, fingers rapidly stroking her clitoris. I must admit, in all my years of sexual activity, I have never encountered this type of sexual gratification before. I’m totally aroused and ready to respond in kind. I walk over to her, turn her around, and immediately enter her from behind.
She screams, “Harder Santi, harder!” I comply with her request and slam myself into her, finally cumming in triumph.
It is then hear something knocking, a loud pounding from what I think is out back.
“What the hell is that noise? Do you hear that, Gitane?”
“It’s nothing,” she assures me, “just the wind blowing a tree against the house.”
Then, again, the sound like someone slapping the wall or the door.
“Let’s have another absinthe, Santi,” she suggests. “You can lick the juice off of my body…”
I whip up two more large portions of the green fairy, and we both down them with one gulp. Gitane hugs me tight, the sticky remnants of oranges sticking to our bodies.
“Is everything okay, Santi?” she asks. “You don’t think I’m strange for enjoying that type of sexual stimulus, do you?”
“Yes baby, I do find it strange and unusual, but does it bother me or cause me to not want to participate? No. Did you think it would make me uncomfortable? I’m a pleaser angel, at times to a flawed degree. No, it doesn’t bother me, and I’m grateful you have such trust to share your predilection with me. Although,” I think to add, “I wouldn’t use apples or pears or anything harder than grapefruit.”
Truth is it didn’t disturb me at all. I found it strangely erotic and sexy.
By this point, the LSD has leveled off to a mellow high, and I fix us another round of cocktails. Gitane embraces me and places her head against my chest, rocking side to side to the music playing in the other room. Again I hear that fucking slammimg and slapping sound coming from somewhere on the other side of the wall.
“What the fuck is that noise?” I ask her again.
“It’s the wind, like I said before. Just the wind!”
I look out the kitchen window and observe the stillness of the trees and other plants. There’s not the rustling of a single leaf.
She walks into her bedroom, signaling for me to follow.
“Come on sugar, take a shower with me. I’ll let you wash me any place you want, come on sugar…”
Just as I take a step in her direction, I hear the disturbance again. This time I’m determinded to investigate it. I turn and march toward the back door and the bathroom she said is out of order.
“Santi, no!” she screams. “Do not open that door!”
It’s too late, my hand has already turned the knob and I push the door open. I fumble for the light on the wall, flicking the switch as my ears begin to register a loud, throaty hissing. Suddenly a four-foot alligator comes lurching at me from the darkness. I nearly fall on my ass, screaming like a schoolgirl as I stumbled back out of the bathroom.
The gator lunges at me again with its mouth wide open, displaying enormous teeth lining its huge pink mouth. I figure that this is the end. I’m dinner for some fucking alligator. I accept my fate, but before I can become gator bait, I feel Gitane’s hands gripping my arms. She tugs at my body, freeing me from the impending doom. The gator’s mouth snaps shut within inches of my leg. With Gitane’s assistance, I finally scramble to my feet and make a mad dash to the safety of the living room.
“Gitane, what the fuck are you doing with an alligator in your bathroom? That son of bitch nearly killed me!” I scream. “Are you missing some god damn brain cells? What the fuck are you thinking, you lunatic!”
She coaxes the monster back into the bathroom and shuts the door. She’s laughing hysterically, pointing at me now, trying to comment but she’s unable to speak through her laughter.
Finally, she’s out of breath, still reeling from the excitement.
“Oh Santi,” she says, “you should have seen yourself, you were so scared!”
“Scared, scared you say! I was fucking terrified, totally panic strickened. You pulled me out just in time, and not a second too late. Seriously, why the hell do you have that monster son of a bitch living in your bathroom, tell me?”
“He was just a baby when I found him washed up on the street from the last hurricane. I felt badly for him, so i brought him home and put him in the bathtub and gave him a home. He grew so quickly, I just kept him as company. His name is Gawain, after Sir….”
“Yeah,” I interrupt, “I know who the hell Gawain is!”
“It’s time for a drink!” she yells enthusiastically.
“Is that door secured, is it locked?” I ask. “I don’t want that bastard getting a second chance! You realize you can’t keep him, don’t you? Call the zoo or that alligator hunter guy on TV. He’s only gonna grow larger. He should be in the swamp, not your bathroom, baby.”
“I know that I can’t keep him… Will you help me find a home for him, Santi?”
“Gladly, it will be my pleasure.”
We partied into the wee hours of the morning, finishing off the bottle of absinthe and occasionally laughing at the alligator incident.
I wake up to discover I’m dressed in a plaid skirt, a crew-neck blouse, and fucking panty hose. I’m wearing one glittery sandle with my hair tied up on top. I make my way to the bathroom and my reflection scares the shit out of me. Unlike last night, the mirror hanging on the closet door betrays me this time. My lips are painted with a bright shade of shocking red lipstick, my eyes with blue eye shadow and mascara. More than anything else, I resemble an old, washed-up hooker. I’m wearing dangly silver earrings and a too-tight bra that is presently strangling my chest.
“Oh, Santiago,” I whisper to myself, “you incredibly submissive fool…”