The Turkish Bath

The Turkish Bath

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Conversation between the two sisters of de Sade--recast for a 20th century dialogue, with the sex-crazed pair working in publishing, answering letters for M.G. Stunning in its humor, erotic content, and series of meta-asides that predate Generation X writing styles.


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Publié par
Date de parution 04 janvier 2013
Nombre de lectures 122
EAN13 9781608727346
Licence : Tous droits réservés
Langue English

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The Turkish Bath
Juliette and Justine Lemercier
This page copyright © 2007 Olympia Press. http://www.olympiapress.com
The great question... which I have not been able to answer, despite my thirty years of research into the feminine soul, is “What does a woman want?” Sigmund Freud Cover Photograph—The Turkish Bath by Ingres (Louvre) —by Giraudon
CHAPTER ONE
The time is eleven o'clock, a Friday morning in May. The place is the campus of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. An older house, just off-campus, nearer town. The ground floor of this old frame building Warmth of Spring. The windows are closed. Justine enters. She walks out of the front bedroom to the kitchen, passing through the living room, past the bath. Mechanically she turns on a burner of the electric stove and prepares coffee, with a minimum of fuss, and no expression whatever. She raises the shade of the kitchen window, looks out, and plugs in the toaster. She takes a manila folder and a stack of papers from a low table in the corner and places them in a pile on the kitchen table, along with two cups. She goes into the front bedroom, throws the covers back over a rumpled bed, and pulls the tape recorder out from under this bed. She returns to the kitchen, places the recorder on the table, adjusts the microphone, plugs, and reels, and turns it on. JUSTINE Testing. Hello. Hello. This is Justine Lemercier, 603 Calvary Drive, testing her Toshiba tape recorder. Hello. She plays the tape back. It has recorded well, but the playback sound blasts out. She is turning the volume down. JULIETTE Hello! Goddammit. Hello! This is Juliette Lemercier in the back room saying turn that fucking thing down and come back to bed or go back to your own bed but for Christ's sweet sake cut that out! JUSTINE Juliette, it's almost noon. Justine goes to the door of the back bedroom, which is just off the kitchen. She stands in the doorway looking down at her sister. Well? JULIETTE Not at all. I ache all over. My legs ache. My knees... She throws off her covers and massages her bare knees. JUSTINE Do you want anything to put on? I have a robe or some pajamas, whatever you'd like. JULIETTE No. Well... Yes. I suppose I'll have to get up, won't I? JUSTINE Yes. JULIETTE And I can't stalk around here in the altogether with these damned blue hickies on my
breasts, can I? We wouldn't want the faculty or a visiting sophomore come for tutoring in the Romance tongues to drop in and see me laced with terrible toothmarks.... Really, Justine. You're so rough with my tits. JUSTINE Get the fuck up. JULIETTE Up what? Do you realize I cannot,cannotmy liquor any more? A three-drink drunk? hold And hitchhiking was... well, golgotha! Never do it, my dear, past thirty. Enough to make anybody drink. JUSTINE Darling, you do make a marvelous drink. JULIETTE Idid drink, didn't I? Before you ravished me? Threw me in the sack like a sack of weary travel-stained shit and forced me, in my weakness, to submit to all manner of perverted acts; you my own sister. If Mama, ifPapacould see me now. JUSTINE I've put on coffee. When you're through blathering, come out here in the kitchen and have some. Justine seats herself at the table, leafs through her folder of notes and begins to speak into the machine. The Lesbian Handbook.Approximately two hundred pages. Introduction by... oh, somebody, what's his name, and then chapter one. Prostitution. Snappy title, humorous but provocative...Cunt At Bay,or... JULIETTE What? JUSTINE Cunt At Bay!I need a title for the chapter on prostitution. Something gay. I thoughtCunt At Baywas good, orCunt For Sale,or something like that. JULIETTE The High Price Of Frigging! JUSTINE That's not bad. Juliette comes out of the bedroom, her hands re-arranging her disordered hair, her borrowed robe wrapped and held, not tied, about her. She puffs a thin Panetella. JULIETTE Only For Money? My Body For Sale? My Tender White Body Which So Many Men Have Misused, Forced, Through Tender White Slavery, To Become The Tool Of Any Man With The Price Of A Panetella And A Fix... JUSTINE A trifle long. JULIETTE ... For My Butch Pimp, Maude?... I like it. It has a certain air. What's this? Coffee? Mmmm. Women, coffee and comedy. Bitter and black. That's for me. What's the matter? JUSTINE That cigar stinks. JULIETTE It doesn't stink; it smells like a good cigar should. Aromatic. JUSTINE It looks like a miser's thick black turd. Take it out of your jaded mouth and give mummie a big kiss and sit down. They kiss briefly. Justine reaches into Juliette's robe and casually fondles one of her pendulous breasts as she leans over.
JULIETTE Ouch! Still a little sore. Prostitution? Male or female? JUSTINE Female. I mean, for men and for women. JULIETTE Oh. Go on. Got any bread? I want some toast. Juliette makes toast and gets the butter and marmalade out of the refrigerator. She sits and eats and drinks coffee while her sister reads. JUSTINE Anyway, concerning the problems and pleasures of prostitution, laced with funny stories and some true-to-life scenes. Plenty readable. And then something about appearances; the look of dykiness. That kind of thing. JULIETTE Thelook! JUSTINE The haircuts, the make-up and dress customs of gay girls. Butch and femme, and all that. With some helpful hints about beauty and exercise. Then... JULIETTE I like that part. Helpful hints. Which shave creams to buy. How to have yourself measured for a sweatshirt; how to get a good fit in a mail order man's suit... JUSTINE You know, there's no need to take that attitude. If you've got a better idea let's hear it. I'm all in favor of anything you might have to say about it. With your wide experience, et al. JULIETTE Go on JUSTINE Something about frustrated love. Everybody likes that. Or seduction. A whole chapter on techniques for seducing the girl next door. JULIETTE How much do we get for this? JUSTINE Fifteen hundred. JULIETTE And I get half, is that right? JUSTINE Right. JULIETTE And royalties? JUSTINE Sure. It's all in writing. I've got the contract here. Look at it. I don't really understand it, but I'm sure it's legal. How to put the make... as it were... on unsuspecting girls who happen to cross one's path. You ought to be good at that. And then I thought we ought to be able to come up with something rather atmospheric concerning what to do to put a girl or woman in the mood for sex once you've got her to your place... or she's got you at her place... that sort of thing. Tender. Suggestive. More funny stories. JULIETTE I'm listening. JUSTINE And then a chapter on techniques. JULIETTE Sex techniques?
JUSTINE What else? Just something rather general about the ins and outs of sucking and fucking between women. How to. That bit. JULIETTE With diagrams and illustrations? JUSTINE No. He doesn't want that. JULIETTE Who? The publisher? I should think he'd be glad to get some juicy photographs of close-up rimming or step-by-step finger jobs for the young and inexperienced. It ought to do well. After all, aren't most of the readers of those books men? I always thought they were. I should think... JUSTINE It's not that kind of a book. It should havesome literary merit. I'll trowel on the literary bullshit. Your job will be to enliven it with little stories—and anecdotes. JULIETTE Who says I've got any anecdotes or that I want to give my trade secrets away? The innermost thoughts of a sad and lonely life? Oh no. A good thick gay novel of girls unable to break the barriers of misunderstanding down that separate them from a happy and fulfilling life of... pot throwing? Get it? They're tortured ceramists, dreaming of... anyway, I'm not sure I want to give... JUSTINE You're not giving when you get paid. JULIETTE That's a good title for the prostitution chapter. JUSTINE Look! It's settled. I've accepted most of the advance money and you have too. JULIETTE Well... oh, that. JUSTINE That's why I sent for you. I've already sent you three hundred dollars and you've only given me twelve pages over a period of a month and a half. We're supposed to be collaborating, are we not? Andnot just pissing the money away in New York on God knows what? Bars, or something. JULIETTE Angel. You know I lead a simple life, uncomplicated by any but the most complicated vices. Read on. JUSTINE Juliette! JULIETTE On. I'll say no more. You have my word, and the word of a Lemercier, like her cunt, is her bond. Go! Go! JUSTINE All right. Techniques, and after that... JULIETTE Does that include frank dildo girl-talk? I mean, pardon me for interrupting... it's a stiff subject, I grant you... will we give little hints on the construction and maintenance of these little comforters? Patterns? Color swatches? JUSTINE Maybe just vinyl samples. Do you think anybody would like to make their own dildos? JULIETTE Why not? Write that down. Never mind, we're on tape. A sort of Brownie campfire project.
Something your den mother can help you with, leaning over your shoulder as you ply the needle and thread at the rustic table of a cabin deep in the wilds (suggest mythical allusion to Groves of Diana), the lamplight playing over your face, your long girlish braids, your nearly bare pudenda. Miss Funke, dressed... don't stop me now Justine, I'm on to it... dressed very carefully in the olive green drab of her order, spangled with brass buttons, presses her hard breasts against your shoulder, her strong adept fingers caressing the sensitive hairs on the back of your neck. She leans down, whispers into your ear, “My child, that is indeed a very fine dildo, but do you not think it a trifle too small?” You turn, your cheeks ablaze with the pleasure of this sudden interruption, and through the moisture of your gaze... JUSTINE You're crying through sheer excitement. JULIETTE No. You've got a slight cold from sleeping with your sleeping bag open in hopes of enticing one of the other girls... Celeste... the one with the huge tits and stringy pubic hair... into your nest. That's why your eyes are runny. But attractive, eh? Particularly in the firelight. She kisses them. Both at once, in one long, loud smack, and with her left hand... the one with the wedding band... Yes, Justine, Mrs. Funke is married... she picks up the teeny limp calico phallus. “Phallicito,” she croons. “Only four inches?” she asks tenderly. You blush. You're red as Schrafft's shrimp salad. And in a lisping voice you say, “But I'm so small, Miss Funke...” JUSTINE I thought she was married. JULIETTE Shhhhh. To a woman. And you open your little crack as if to verify the diminutive diameter of your virgin hole, whereupon, leaping from the table the lady throws off her skirt to display a mammoth triple dildo... that's two for her and one for you (The Devil's Dingus)... And she attempts to deflower you. You cry out! JUSTINE I like that part about the wedding ring. We ought to include some of that in the chapter on marriages or the arrangements women make between themselves. JULIETTE Gay marriages? Ah, phantasy! Just the right note to offset... JUSTINE Why not? Perfectly straight and open... JULIETTE Straight! My dear! JUSTINE With simple rules and advice for how to get along with the partner of your choice. Including... JULIETTE Including who'll do what to whom on which nights with the dildo. JUSTINE Oh... JULIETTE How to pretend you aren't having an affair when your parents drop by and find the old red rubber buddy in the washbasin being rinsed out with this week's lingerie...Dildo Do's And Don'ts.I like... JUSTINE Fuck dildos, Juliette! JULIETTE Ah, mine schwester, you do have a way with words. A perfect chapter heading. What's next? JUSTINE If you're not serious about this project...
JULIETTE Not serious? Not serious? Why, I'm just going to sit here and finger myself a little while I listen to you... Ah!... Ah!... You see, like this, and try to seek inspiration in... JUSTINE Shut up. Now just listen! Juliette. Juliette! Juliette is burlesque... but not quite burlesquely... fingering herself, making hangover-passion faces, and gasping in mock passion. She stops suddenly, leaning forward on the table, cupping her hand to her ear, and smiling brightly, nods as if to say, “Go on.” And we'll add a kind of five-step table of do's and don'ts... Damn you! Scratch that out... on marital relations for gay girls. I like that idea about the parents dropping in though. We ought to say something about difficulties like parents and straight friends, and various kinds of social pitfalls which... Juliette? What do you think? JULIETTE Ay? JUSTINE And... oh! The maidenhead. Something about how to get rid of one's virginity. With or without a man. JULIETTE Manually. JUSTINE And then, a chapter on gay bars. I thought you might be able to give me a lot of information about what's going on in New York in the bars, and maybe we could compare notes on experiences. And fag bars. JULIETTE And faggots too. JUSTINE Don't you think they should go underMen? JULIETTE They usually do. Are you intending a chapter on Men? JUSTINE Yes, I thought a sex... JULIETTE Care and feeding? Destruction of...? Got any aspirin? JUSTINE In the cupboard over the sink. To the right, behind the vermouth. A simple direct and very explicit step-by-step instruction chapter on how to get what you want out of them—in bed and out. But particularly in bed. JULIETTE That's a good idea. JUSTINE I think too many women don't actually know the male body and it's responses; it's... JULIETTE We ought to have asubject. Why not? Just set the tape recorder going and keep talking while we work somebody over. Eh? One of those fresh-faced country boys out there on the campus. What about it? A track star? JUSTINE I think we've got enough experience between us... JULIETTE One of those super-compensating jungle bunnies on a sort of phys-ed grant, with lots of cock, lots of animosity, and barely repressed homosexual feeling. We could work him over together, shouting from time to time into the microphone which would be concealed on the
pillow, so as not to alarm our raunchy Rastus. Then, while sucking his ass, you could whisper instructions... JUSTINE No thanks! JULIETTE In this day and age? With the nation in spasms? Tricky Dicky on the throne? Color conscious? You, my own flesh-and-blood a bedroom bigot? We have a new regime now Justine, and surely the example of a man in The White House with mixed blood... JUSTINE I'm not up to it. It's not funny. JULIETTE It is funny, and if you're not up to it there must be something wrong.... Seriously? What's wrong? JUSTINE Don't sayseriouslylike that. It sounds stupid. JULIETTE It is. This damned Americanese. Shall we talk in... no? WhatisEnd of the month wrong? due? Hate athletes? Been had and abandoned by one? Fed up with civil rights track stars? Cock-shy? Justine rises, pushes herself from the table and goes to the sink with her cup. She raises the shade. Looking out of the window silently, she stands frowning a little, her gaze glued to the large white frame house next door, its sides spattered with the shade of the large overhanging trees, its clapboard brilliantly white, reflecting the mid-morning sun. She frowns, and without looking, rinses her cup, turning it over and over in her hands under the noisy tap. JULIETTE Mysteries. Mysteries. The depths of feminine silence. A gulf so deep... (She belches)... pardon! So wide even the closeness of a sister, an identical twin sister, cannot reach, cannot breach it. Let us guess. Even Juliette, femme fatale ordeadly femme,not without intuition. is However, if the thought of slipping and sliding on the ebony joy pole of some... JUSTINE You are such a horrible bitch! JULIETTE Meanwhile, the house next door. Looming. It islooming,isn't it? I think it ought to at this time of the morning. They usually do. What time is it? Twelve? God! Noon. Isn't noon a bore? Justine?... What is there about this old house that attracts our sometimes-blonde heroine, Justine of the pure heart and mercilessly thrusting clitoris? Someone in the house? Don't tell me. A housewife: small, plump, red-haired, with tiny fine bluish veins under the skin of her enormous child-swollen breasts, who bends over her washbasket and shows our Romance Language specialist crouching behind the kitchen curtains the backs of latticed knees and thighs and perhaps more: for Mrs. Hubbard has forgotten her scanties! The dorsal coral crack of the biologist's wife beacons... JUSTINE You're perfectly suited for pulp fiction. I'll bet you've got suet on your typewriter ribbons. JULIETTE Indeed. Do I get one hundred? AnA?Passing? JUSTINE Fifty. For the house. JULIETTE Then can there be, perhaps... a son? Twelve, freckled... No. Surley not the professor, with his too-hearty handshake and clenched pipe, his drearily baggy jackets and fruit boots.
JUSTINE The daughter. JULIETTE Ah! Cheerleading strawberry-blonde of one hundred and ten pounds, still cherry, who parks just at the curb with... JUSTINE She's nineteen. Japanese. JULIETTE My dear! It isn't true, you know, what... JUSTINE Her name is Yayoi. Very small. Dark, black hair. She comes by very often, almost every day, and you know how they are, those beautiful Japanese girls... the willowy ones... so fragile and delicate. Her breasts are small, Julie, and her buttocks, very small too. She's perfectly formed in every way. JULIETTE You've had her? JUSTINE No. It's not like that. She's not a dyke. We've never been to bed. Never kissed. She just stops by in the afternoons, on her way to or from classes, and we sit and laugh together. She's a classic Oriental giggler. JULIETTE Land, Lieutenant Pinkerton! JUSTINE It's amazing. Just what you'd expect. She giggles behind her hands. Over almost anything. She blushes. But very intelligent. We talk a lot... JULIETTE Oh, God! Like a dreary dyke novel. “Their close-cropped heads bent over steaming mugs of coffee.” Christ! Sorry. Go on. JUSTINE Her father's in Animal Husbandry and her mother is very nice. Very old-fashioned and never goes out of the house. They've got a little brother... she does... named Jun, and he's spoiled: they simply adore that child. He's oh, four, I think. I... I simply can't look at anybody else. JULIETTE Ah! Then she's not to know, I reckon, how you moaned and smacked over my nether lips last night. She's not to guess that her neighbor... JUSTINE That isn't funny. JULIETTE Mercy my me! I only meant that apparently your clandestine love for the almond-eyed fascinator next door doesn't prevent you from engaging in frightening sexual excesses with your own sister who is... and don't forget this... half Oriental herself! Or don't you consider what we do as sex? JUSTINE We don't do it often enough for me to consider it at all. If it happens, it happens. You always begin it. You wouldn't stay in your room. I haven't had sex for seven months. ThisisAnn Arbor. JULIETTE Tu t'abuses! JUSTINE Let's get back to the book. Where were we? JULIETTE Oh, all right. Did we mention gay bars? Remember the Bridgeway in Sausalito? God, I loved
that place. We ought to do a whole chapter on it. JUSTINE Here's that chapter. I've got four pages on bars in general. I don't think we ought to mention specific places. Here are the notes. And letters for all the chapters. They're numbered. JULIETTE Then what? JUSTINE Marriage.did we mention that? And then a brief historical survey of dykes past and Or present, and what do you think of a Dyke's Dictionary? Terms. JULIETTE All right. Let's give it a whirl. As to famous dykes, don't you think we might get sued? Or would that be good publicity a laConfidential?Headlines: President's wife rolls more than eggs down White House Lawn. Inside scoop on Red Room... JUSTINE Wrong wife. We could talk about the movies... you know, the recent changes in them:The Fox,for instance, orTherese and Isabel. Juliette makes a face. Me too... Well... JULIETTE Is that thing still recording? JUSTINE What? Oh, yes. But somehow my strength has rather faded away. I suddenly don't care about it at all. JULIETTE Ridiculous. It'll be over in just a few hours. I know we should have begun earlier: my fault, really. Irregular habits and all. But, how long do you think it takes to write one of those things? Days? Months or weeks? Nope. Wait a minute. I'll show you something. She runs into the bedroom, rifles around in her suitcase, and comes back with a paperback book. Look. This was two month's rent.Dykes On The Quadrangle.do you think of it? Go What ahead. Open it up. JUSTINE Wait. Is that... JULIETTE Yes indeedy doody. That's me on the cover giving a jerky kind of full nelson to the fish with the towel. Cute? We did all the pictures in the home of this promoter or publisher or photographer, Raymond Fisdale in Laurel Canyon. Way the hell out. Five of us. Divine time. Want me to tell you about it? Maybe you can put it in your book. Pardon,ourAdjust the book. volume. Well, as you know, my feelings about unemployment insurance and winter are very trans-continental. Right. I'm the traditional crosscountry dyke. I don't care where I am, in what city or what state, but when it begins to get cold, I manage to lose a job:ifgot one. Two I've years ago I had it worked out very well. I'd get hired in October or September, and stay just until the first snow, at the job... Doesn't matter much what kind. Then I'd get myself fired. One place loved me so much they'd put up with all kinds of shit... Simply wouldn't fire me. Obstinate. I behaved miserably... late... wouldn't call in. That kind of thing. Of course, you know how it is with me. Once I'm there I work like crazy just to keep from flaking out from boredom. Anyway, I made a pass at this perfectly lovely, perfectly straight office manager, Mrs. something-or-other, in the John, I mean, I let her have it while we were standing in front of the mirrors. Told her I had admired her breasts since the first day I came to work there at Benson, Barstow, Wirth and Nougat, thought her hams and her hocks were sublime... and at that I inserted my hand in the crack of her ass... which was difficult because she was tightly corseted; it was sort of like a

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