CHAPTER EIGHT: CARNAL INTIMACIES
As it happened, Susan
took my excuse about having to go back down to
However, more enjoyable by far was the sight of Philomena who,
having been informed in advance of my time of arrival,
was waiting at the coach depot when we finally pulled into
"Now do me the favour of hitching-up your skirt, so that I can see what you're wearing underneath," I bluntly demanded of her.
She cast me a faintly disapproving look but, nonetheless, graciously complied, and I soon discovered that she was wearing pink panties and matching suspenders under her skirt. Instinctively I knelt down in front of her and kissed the rims of her stockings, kissed the clips of her suspenders, and last but hardly least that part of her panties which covered her mound of dark pubic hair. Then, returning to my feet, I ran a hand between her thighs and up along the groove of her crotch, which was enticingly warm. She giggled coyly, but had time to kiss and caress me in turn. I was fast approaching the boil and just had to have her there and then, before we set out for Gloucestershire. But I wanted her with all her clothes on, including panties, and made the appropriate advances to assure myself a path of admittance to her vaginal chamber, pulling them down slightly so that I could force my by-now rampant member up between the gap in their legs, and thus enter her without undue difficulty.
She was evidently surprised by my peremptory tactics and made some feeble protests, both verbally and physically, but I stuck to my bent and got it up inside her, forcing her back against the nearest wall and holding her legs astride my body in the process. The thrill of taking her like this was so keen that I shot my bolt even before I had got properly under way, but I persisted in shafting her even then, and obliged her to repay my generosity in due course - handsomely, as it turned out. Exhausted, we slumped to the floor. But I still had enough strength in me to drag her away from the wall, lift her legs back over her chest, and go down on her, tongue first, much the way Dr Richardson had done with my unsuspecting wife a couple of weeks previously. Her panties were now rather damp, but I took a distinct pleasure in making them even damper by forcing the bulk of their material up between the lips of her sex, so that they soaked-up her juices. Her wriggling, at this point had the effect of rekindling my passion and, ignoring her half-hearted protests, I applied myself anew to the cleft of her silken trench, causing her to wriggle afresh. Then, growing tired of this game, I lifted her up off the floor, grabbed her breasts from behind, and fell back with her onto the room's single bed, obliging her to open her legs as wide as possible. Detaching one of my hands from her breasts, which had always been small, I thrust it up into her inviting flesh, turned her over onto her stomach, and thrust it up still further, until my fingers all but disappeared behind her panties. She squirmed in ecstatic pleasure and so aroused me ... that I pumped what was left of my erection into her all over again, even though it had gone slightly limp in the meantime. Now I could fuck her and squeeze her breasts at the same time - a stratagem which could only enhance our mutual pleasure.
But by now I was completely spent and could only keep up my carnal assault on her sex for a short time, before I had to give up and call it a day. Nevertheless I managed to turn her back over and force a hand into her quivering flesh anew, squeezing her clitoris between thumb and forefinger in such a way that she soon became freshly engulfed by a wave of orgasmic pleasure. Then I kissed her lingeringly on the mouth as our tongues met in a final bout of sensuous passion, a fitting dénouement to a thrilling romance, and, satisfied that I had come off best, rolled across to the opposite side of the bed. Clothes were decidedly dishevelled but still approximately in place - my own included. She wanted to know why I had to do it to her with all her clothes on, and I replied that it was more civilized than without them. She laughed, but conceded me the benefit of the doubt. "And do you ravish Susan in such a paradoxically fetishistic fashion?" she asked.
I blushed slightly, wondering why she should put that question to me, and answered to the effect that occasionally I did. "But I rarely enjoy sex with her these days," I added, much to Philomena's evident relief.
We smoked in peace a few minutes, gazing up at the cream-coloured ceiling of the little room. Philomena had just about returned to normal by now and looked very relaxed - a fact that didn't altogether surprise me, considering that I had probably given her one of the most highly cathartic sexual experiences of her entire life.
"Well, you're certainly a very pretty lady," I at length said, breaking the silence. "And a very sweet-smelling one, too, if your perfume is anything to judge by. I think I'm going to enjoy living with you."
Philomena raised ironic brows. "Even before you've seen the house?" she queried, stubbing out the dog-end of her smouldering cigarette in a nearby glass ashtray.
I smiled at my precocity. "I'm beginning to feel that the house is a mere formality," I nonchalantly averred. "The really important thing is having someone as beautiful as you to play with, when the fancy takes me or you succeed in seducing me."
Philomena saw fit to smile graciously with this compliment, and drew herself closer to me, so that our bodies were in contact again. I lifted her skirt up and spent a moment looking at her nylons and panties, her suspenders and suspender belt, the latter of which was just visible beneath the waist of her skirt. "Why do you think we wear clothes?" I asked, turning my attention to her blouse and the outline of her bra beneath.
"Why do you think?" she responded, a mischievous glint in her eyes.
"Not just to keep ourselves warm," I replied, smiling, "since today isn't particularly cold. Also, and sometimes primarily, to overcome nature to some extent. The savage is naked, or mostly so, whereas the civilized man wears clothes. He prefers his appearance to be more artificial than natural, and the nobler he is, the more artificial he wishes to appear. Even a scorching sun can't tempt him to walk around half-naked. He prefers a thin vest or shirt to a bare chest; full-length jeans or trousers to shorts; shoes or sneakers to sandals. He isn't prepared to adopt a quasi-pagan appearance - except, of course, when he goes on holiday and strips off for a swim or sunbathe at the seaside."
"Not everyone does that these days," said Philomena.
"True," I agreed. "Yet quite a few people still do. They live at the tail-end, as it were, of humanistic civilization, but invest in a little undiluted paganism for a few weeks every year, partly for the sake of respecting their human integrity and partly because such an investment is permissible within the open-society context of the civilization in question, torn, as it is, not only between conservatism and radicalism but, to a limited extent, between paganism and transcendentalism."
I bent over Philomena's prostrate body and began to gently sniff various parts of her clothes, inhaling the fragrance of her smooth flesh in the process.
"Would such an investment therefore be impermissible within the closed-society context of a transcendental civilization?" she asked, proudly tolerant of my nasal inquisitiveness.
"Probably," I admitted laconically, and looked up from her body in order to reflect a moment. "Yes, people wouldn't be encouraged to go around nude or half-nude at the seaside or wherever in a full-blown transcendental civilization, for the simple reason that there'd be no place for nudism in a post-humanistic context."
"No place whatsoever, Jason?" she asked half-incredulously, her bright-blue eyes directly focused on my own rather less bright ones.
I resolutely shook my head. "Man is capable of being transmuted from one lifestyle or attitude to another and higher one as evolution proceeds," was my confident reply. "The typical bourgeois attitude, on the other hand, is to adopt a kind of humanistic fixity, the implications of which tend to suggest that man can only be what he is by nature, not be remodelled into something higher."
"A kind of philosophical Rampionism," Philomena observed, reminding me of the 'all-round' attitude to life advocated by the character Rampion in Huxley's Point Counter Point, and one probably shared, at the time, by the author himself.
"Quite," I concurred, nodding briefly. "An attitude which has also been expressed autobiographically by Stephen Spender, who apparently shares it. But what can you expect? The English are fundamentally all alike, especially the so-called intelligentsia. They can only relate to humanism, whether primarily in terms of radicalism, conservatism, or a paradoxical - and therefore strictly liberal - combination of the two."
"And so remain stuck in a bourgeois rut," Philomena remarked, as she began to stroke my hair.
"Ah, the English!" I exclaimed, getting caught-up in my old obsessive Anglophobia again. "Have you noticed how they almost invariably tend to look at what you're wearing when passing you in the street, rather than at your face, or before looking at your face?"
Philomena thought she had, though admitted that it was slightly different for a woman, since men tended more often than not to look at a woman's face, arms, legs, and whatever else they could see of her body in preference to her clothes.
"And yet when an Irishman passes you in the street," I
continued, ignoring her point of view, "you usually find that it's your
face he's primarily interested in, as though he wanted to probe your soul, your
character, your mind. That just about
epitomizes the difference between the two peoples - the one hooked on
phenomenal appearances because, by nature, materialistic, and the other given
to noumenal essences because, by nurture,
spiritualistic. The English are only
interested in your clothes to see how well off or - unforgivable sin - badly
off you are, whereas the Irish tend to treat appearances with relative
indifference, if not disdain. Indeed, is
not our inclination to often go about in old, worn-out clothes ample proof of
our contempt for appearances, a reflection, as it were, of our bias for things
of the spirit? What Englishman, unless
he's a down-and-out or labourer, can bear going about in old clothes? The English are generally a smart-looking
people, but behind their flash or posh appearances ... their souls are
virtually non-existent - certainly less than thriving! They are mostly phenomenal appearances, and
one could accordingly describe them as fundamentally a female and
fashion-conscious people. Women, too,
are mostly on the surface, especially in
"Yet I'm evidently an exception, is that it?" Philomena rejoined half-humorously.
"Yes, and a very beautiful exception moreover, not just a bookworm with an ugly face!" I declared, smiling in turn. "But most women are intrinsically superficial. Not many of them have studied such works as Ulysses or Finnegans Wake, like you.... Incidentally, Joyce would never have got Ulysses published in this country, had it not been published elsewhere first. The English are always reluctant to publish works by intelligent Irishmen of a certain stamp, especially when Catholic, like Joyce, and more so when also of a predominantly Gaelic pedigree, like myself, because, apart from the obvious ideological incompatibility between power and truth, they don't like having their own cultural stupidity shown-up or being criticized for their past and, indeed, current behaviour in Ireland, the division of the island being, in no small part, a legacy of their imperial past. Consequently they prefer to reject such authors, and continue to do so almost as a matter of political necessity. But once someone else has taken-up their work, someone who happens to be sympathetic towards Ireland or who may have a grudge against the English, then their work - and Ulysses is a typical example - gradually gains a foothold elsewhere and, as its reputation grows, so the English are obliged to come to terms with and publish it in due course. For by then they have little choice, since the developing international reputation of the work compels them to submit to its publication, else make damn fools of themselves by banning it. Once the Americans, in particular, take the lead, then the English have little option but to follow suit, since America is ever the boss, both financially and culturally."
Philomena smiled sympathetically and squeezed my hand. "You must feel rather hard-done-by, where their reactionary attitude to your best and most progressive writings is concerned," she commented. "Having to keep your revolutionary works to yourself, because they could never be properly appreciated or fully endorsed here in what is, by your standards, a fundamentally reactionary, not to say philistine, society."
"One gets used to that fact," I admitted, finding it easier not to feel too sorry for myself in the circumstances of what had earlier taken place between us. "But it won't last for ever, believe me! One day things will change."
I had raged enough by now and could tell that Philomena, notwithstanding her polite attentiveness, had had enough of it, too. Now I desired only to relax and forget about the future. I had almost forgotten the real reason for my being with her, so morosely engrossed had I become in other matters. Now, however, the recollection of our prospective trip to Gloucestershire dawned on me and, almost simultaneously, the recollection that, contrary to appearances, we had earlier made love.
"Well," I said, as soon as I had got over the shock, "are you going to be in a fit state-of-mind to drive me to your country house?"
Philomena couldn't prevent herself blushing with this remark, but smilingly replied: "Provided you don't put any further physical or mental demands on me this morning, Jason."
"Then you've got nothing to worry about," I responded and, together, we struggled to our feet and began preparing ourselves for the journey ahead. Before we went down to her car, however, I made sure that Philomena got another kiss, as though to reassure her of my romantic allegiance, and even placed a hand against the nylon-covered bulge of her crotch to verify whether the dampness still reigned there. Frankly it did, and she had no option but to smile.