excerpt 3: Default to Goodness

 

1967

Thanksgiving  Day

          My father and I went to the local Holiday Inn for dinner. My mother drank too much the night before and was unable to dress and leave the house. She stayed in bed, while we set forth for roasted turkey and pumpkin pie, my favorite meal.

In the buffet line, we ran into one of my father’s friends/clients: Anastasia. She looked much more like an East Village resident of Manhattan than the resident of an architecturally conservative apartment building in a good neighborhood in Memphis. She was more Harvey Fierstein than Anita Bryant. Anastasia was  quite flamboyant with her heavy makeup, colorful clothes, and Lucite handbag, which completely exposed the contents. Perhaps, she was a transgender. (Didn’t know such people existed in those days.)

If I had looked closely, I might have seen the Trojan condoms; Anastasia was a wealthy divorcée who got her kicks by pimping for the secret society of artistic, homosexual men in the neighborhood.

She threw raucous parties where handsome young boys and older patrician men were introduced. Women were invited also, but they tended to be in their 50s and 60s and were oblivious to Anastasia’s maternal machinations.

A few years later, I attended one of her parties shortly after I graduated from college.  Once again, my mother was indisposed because of her drinking, so I went in her place.

 

excerpt 2: Default to Goodness

other lovers:

The married English WASP who actually used a cigarette holder! He was an executive with a large advertising agency, but always an aspiring writer. His novel, The Girl Watcher, was published while we were dating.

He liked to have sex with me in sleazy motels in Westchester. His wife was an entomologist, who spent 18 hours daily studying the social organziation  of ant groups.

The handsome, charismatic art student who worked part-time as a security guard at the Museum of Modern Art. We had sex on a couch in a bedroom, while a wild party was going  on in the host’s living room.

The skinny, Australian investment banker who said that my birth control foam smelled like Pabulum.

The much older advertising executive who liked for me to hold his penis when he peed.

My strict Southern upbringing held me back from so many fascinating opportunities, because the culture in which I was raised hammered [sledge hammer] in the importance of being a soft-spoken, gentle, self-effacing, well-mannered lady. And I always flourished at following the rules.

Rebellion was only possible later on in my secret life of men and questionable sexual mores.