The Sleigh Ride.

ZJ Galos.

I can hear my mother’s voice “Zolikam-My Zoli,” she says with her soft, but articulated voice, in her Hungarian mother-tongue. “This is a nice morning. We will go out for a sleigh-ride. The snow is pristine.” She lifts me out of my crib at the corner of her bedroom. “Look at the snow-crystals in the window; see their geometrical patterns. This beauty! The sky is blue and clear, you ought to get some fresh and dry air. It is good for your lungs.” Once mom has started to chatter to me, she’ll never stop. Each word seems to evoke another. She spins threads and weaves a blanket. It is white and lies across the fir trees outside, the reeds and pastures, the houses and the backyards.

It makes me though feel good, even if I cannot follow everything in detail. I can hear and see her, but there are only partly shapes and blotches, with some colour to all the white, in her uttering and for the perception of sound and vision of a small child. I feel well with her, warm, and wish to sleep again. “No Zoli, you will not sleep any longer now, I will feed you now.” She is talkative since Dad was home from the Eastern war front. There was a lot of talk, laughter and celebrations. Mom is happy, in love again. She lifts me out of my crib and her long chestnut hair’s curls touch my cheeks. Then she puts her cheeks to mine, it’s softer and warmer, as she caresses me. I love her touches, as she unfolds her nightgown and her left side slides off her shoulders. I can feel her gentleness in her offering me sweet nourishment from her left breast. There are noises, warmth and tenderness. At times her torso moves slightly, as I am soon teething and suck too hard. I love to drink mother. Her love flows into me with every drink I swallow. Then I have finished, she puts me to bed again and I rest, while she has a bath and attends to her toilette.

Time’s up, she coos and lefts me up and tends to my needs ever so gently, cleaning me and wrapping me up. Blue jumpsuit, woollen and warm. There are again blotches of recognizable details, her eyes, hazel and warm, her lips full and sweet, her neck and her arms, the shape of the room, the bright light from the window. Some patches of blue, mothers curly chestnut-coloured hair, she lets me touch and hold, while she dresses me. She talks to me about the clouds and the blue skies, the golden sun. The hills and the wood all covered up with a thick white blanket. “All’s asleep,” she says “all, but the fluffy snow-rabbit. We will find one.” She gets the small fur coat from the cupboard to wrap me in. She puts her thick fur coat on that father gave her as a present and then she takes me like a bundle and we get out the door on the Mezzanine Floor. The cold and icy air hits my face like needles. I make sounds of discomfort. She covers me up with the hood on my coat, and then I feel better. She pulls her scarf up to her face and at the bottom of the stairs she places me into the sleigh and settles me in. Strapped in and leaned back against the backrest, she is satisfied with my safe seating.

We take off. It is a wonderful and still late morning. There has been virgin snow overnight. The snow plough had passed the road behind our house earlier on. Mother turns to the left, uphill for a while and then around a drawn-out bend on level for a short distance, around the place of the railway signalman’s house and across the railway tracks. On the straight she falls into a sudden gallop that gives me great pleasure and I laugh-out loud. When she slows down, I stop. As soon as she accelerates I laugh again, and we play this game until she tires. Then she walks uphill for quite a while again. Her rhythmic strides on the frozen snow give off a crunching sound that makes me sleepy.

I have forgotten my dislike for the icy cold, enjoying the fun of a sleigh ride. I am demanding from Mom these sudden jerks of a pull that gives me a sensation of speed and momentum. Mother laughs too. Suddenly she slips and falls, the sleigh’s lead sliding from her mittens and the sleigh gaining speed backwards, she cries out, struggles to her feet and she runs to catch the sleigh that starts speeding downhill. She gets closer and she steps on the lead with her right foot. The sleigh changes direction and stops against a snow bank at the side of the road that has been heaped up by the snow plough before. She gasps. “Zoli, gee I am sorry, I got you well in time.” I am laughing loud, the sudden stop had jerked me forward, but as I am well padded, nothing happened but an adventure with some snow all over me. She takes up my laugh and we laugh and have tears in our eyes from the cold. After a short rest, she takes father’s camera that she has shouldered and slips out of the strap. She leaves the leather case in my hands on my lap and as I laugh she takes a snapshot, then another. I wish I could have taken a snapshot of her then. Her soft long and curly hair with the shine of chestnuts folding over her right face, tickling me as she hugs and kisses me. She is breathing close to me and I smell her scent, sweet like her body’s fluid she feeds me. She breathes faster as usual, still with a heartbeat over her clumsiness, as she calls it. “I could have…” and she paints pictures of her fright that open up to her, something terrible could have happened with me on the sleigh speeding down the hill. Her kisses thaw the needles on my cheeks. I have my arms around her neck and I do not want her to go.

Then we are on the straight and level piece of road again and I demand her to run a bit with me, indicating it with my laughing. Faster, faster, I seem to transfer to her my happiness of sleigh-riding. Then she slows down. “Enough.” She says. We aim for home again and she can sit behind me for a few minutes and guide the sleigh with the heel of her feet. This is new and exciting. She stops at the entrance to the house, gets up and pulls the sleigh through the entrance gate to the back of the house. Again I can hear the rhythmic clatter of her feet crunching the ice-cold snow that by now gives a little. It is a strong and determined walking and then she arrives at the main entrance, she unfastens the security strap, takes me off the sleigh and gets me upstairs. I feel hot now, my face swelling like a balloon, exploding like the icicles that fall from the gutter and smash into pieces on the ground. I am tired-out. Mother talks of the landscape that is unrecognizable with such a thick cover of snow, the colours of the skies and the pale wintry sun in a washed-out orange and yellow. “I have seen the snow rabbit…” I wanted to say, but all that comes forth is mere baby chatter and laughs, before I fall asleep. Lots of impressions have entered my awakening conscious and my subconscious today.

The brilliance of this day had been repeated with another brilliant day in February on Table Mountain, in Cape Town, thirty years later, when my wife and I were visited by her family in Africa of the South. I did recall my mother pulling me seated in a sleigh, into the all-white landscape that had become now all blue as far as the eye could see. Her fast spurts tugging me along became the tugs on the cable way up the rock face of the mountain. Her strength of running with me became the flight of the kestrels along the sheer fall of the mountain towards the sea and her softness that was like the fresh snow has turned into the warm and still air that surrounded us that memorable day.

*

She has hazel-eyes and soft skin, slightly-olive-coloured and I have seduced her many times. She has dark charcoal hair and it falls soft and curly. She is well-built and she has a delicate neck I love to touch. Her eyes are warm and show her sensual nature. “We fit together,” she says “more than in one way.”

“It’s three,” I say.

“Three?”

“Yes, three ways, not only in mind and spirit…”

“…oh you mean body, physical.” I say nothing, kiss her eyes and cheeks, she has full lips, her taste is sweet. “Wait Zol, wait,” she says and she disappears into the bathroom. I lie down on the French-bed and stretch-out, fall into a pleasant doze. It is almost noon. Daylight comes through the shutters in stripes and colours the room into light blue.

The room disappears in its physical description, dissolves and the paintings flow into each other. It snows and the mountain peak on the opposite side of town becomes white. “You are cold,” she says, and she tucks me-in, moves close to me and we lie for a while, motionless. I can feel her fine artist’s fingers slide across my skin and she loves to run them along my spine and down my body. I feel sensations rise in me. She loves to tease me. I touch her, eyes closed and imagine her, my fingers try to remould her to the shape I have seen in the museum of a statue that had fascinated me, as it reminded me of her body. She gasps as I touch her torso and breasts and my fingers slide down her shapely body. I open my eyes a bit and observe her lips that have parted slightly. I love to excite her and listen to all her noises of delicious subtleties, as she enjoys me to arouse her. I want to bring her to her edge. She can be at the edge many times. I have learned to love her. It is innate in us. “We are matching,” as she said. “All comes naturally, but with our libidos intact.” I touch the tips of her breast. She moans. I kiss them and caress them. She likes this tenderness. “You are like a son,” she says. I must think of my mother and me, as she was feeding me her most precious food. “I love you,” I say. She moves to let me touch her fully, encouraging me now to kiss her along her sinewy body. She is breathing faster and I can hear my mother breathing, as she trots along with me, strapped on the sleigh. The crunching rhythm of her feet on the frozen snow, is now my dusky-eyed woman’s heartbeats, as I eat her up. I am a passionate lover and she enjoys it fully, as she cries-out.

*

Mothers beautiful face: Serious, intelligent, soft with a determined chin, her soft skin, unblemished like the virgin snow. Her beautiful lips are full and sensual. Her hazel eyes look at me with love and caring. It was all sharp and real. I was hot, in the tropics, in a fire? It is a fever. I woke and my pyjama was soaked in sweat. It was March; spring to break soon in Europe and autumn in Africa. Mother! Inside a shout, as if I heard her panic, when the sleigh’s lead slipped from her mittens. Mother’s dead! Again this angel of dark messages, a voice inside me shouts. My first thoughts as I woke, and my first feelings, relate to this message. The trauma of waking from an alp, with death attached as its shadow. I could sense this; she had talked to me from her deathbed. These were one of her last thoughts, the time when she was happy. Dad and I, always. We were always a happy family, nothing could erase that togetherness. Mother beamed, opened like a flower to Dad being back from the Eastern frontier. Mom was happy to have him back, even for such a short time. How deep her happiness radiated into me. She danced fleet-footed, taking me for sleigh-rides. She overflowed and we laughed in midst this sugar-castle’s paradise.

*

My dusky-eyed woman of my dreams swept off me and out of bed like a dream to the daylight’s first rays. I felt lost without her. Gone was the warmth and the caresses, the soft imprint of her body on mine. The sensations of chafing skin. Dew loved to chafe. Rub, she called it. I woke up with a jolt, perspiration running from my forehead. I was suddenly afraid. I have seen a shadow lurking behind us, watching us. There was a cold breeze coming off it, like icy wind. There was a restless energy in Dew to finish lovemaking and she got-off quickly, while I laboured. She had asked me to have her favourite position and riding me she was aflame. I saw a hand appear from within the light-blue shutters, it was dark and skeletal. I shivered. Dew thought that this was my lust I felt, getting close to my peak. I saw the hand placing itself around her throat and suffocating her. She stretched and closed her eyes, opened her lips wide and threw her head back. She cried-out. I waited for her to fall and collapse. It was her climax, the hand sliding across her breasts as they jutted out against its touch. It was now gone. “Dew?”

“Yes”, she gasped, placing her head upright and looking at me with heat oozing from her.

“Could you turn around, without getting off me?” She turned carefully and slowly. Then her back was facing me, I asked her to move against me, but slightly. Then as I had found a sweet spot I asked her to sit still. I watched with fascination her pearls of sweat grow on her lower back like chains of jewellery, while I moved into her from my lying position. How sweet love can be, how sweet this union has turned-out to be, against all odds and reason, following an inner call. I saw mothers back and I caressed her, loving her like my dad loved her, I thought. And she smiled throwing her head back, her long curls flowing across my chest. I felt electrified and a great tension was building-up in my chest to be released. “Ah!” I cried-out “Mom! Ah!” And then the image faded as I closed my eyes and fell into the darkness of a sweet abyss…”Zol? Zol?” Dew queried “have you come…Zol?”

“Yes, yes,” I breathed still heavier and gasped for air, my chest restricted, my lower part of me spastic, throbbing.

“Zol?”

“Yes Dew, yes, I love you.”

“I love you too. I could feel you and I was coming too.” She got off me and rushed to the bathroom.

“Stay a bit longer Dew,” I begged her. But she was gone. I followed her. She took a shower. As soon as she was finished, I stepped into the bathtub and showered. Then soaped, and then showered. Stepping-out of the bath, she came to me, kneeled down, circling my waist and placing her cheek to my penis. “I love you Zol.” She caressed me and got me excited again. “I love your cock,” she said and kissed its crown. I never had as much oral sex as with Dew.

There was no end to it; she wanted another round now, pulling me to her bedroom. I was at a height and could not stop any longer. She pulled-out all stops in me, turning me horny and lewd. I became animalistic and she loved it now. Finally she collapsed with me onto a wooden chair, she uses for her typing. But riding me now could never get me off. I asked her to bend down for me.

*

I had to take a shower. I was sweating profusely. I had to change pyjamas. I went to bed again, but could not sleep. I took a book from my night table. It was poetry by Cavafis; Dew had given to me as a present. It was all about gender erotic. It was touching and deep. I dozed off. Then the phone rang in the study. I jumped-out of bed and rushed to answer it. It was Teeb, my cousin. “I am sorry to tell you…”

“I know,” I interrupted him “Mom is dead.”

“How did you know?” He was astonished.

“Well I knew she was ill and had to be hospitalized, but this morning at about 5, I had an intense dream about her.”

“That’s when she died,” Teeb continued. “I am amazed Zoli, this is ESP.”

“Indeed,” I said “we were very close, see?”

“I did not know,” he stammered, as Mom always preferred his manners and diplomatic way of talking, while mine were always straight.

“Ok, I have already the visa, tomorrow, but too late to see her.”

“She was in a coma the last days already and could not recognize anyone any longer,” he said. I did not know if he wanted to soothe my pain, or if he was just polite. I agreed with him a date for the funeral, which I would attend. Then the line went dead as well.

I was 6000 miles from her apart, but in mental communication there are no geographical boundaries or distances felt. I thought of Dew. She was as pretty as mother, when Mom was younger. They could be…I looked at the photographs. Yes, I murmured, they could be sisters. I wondered about my Oedipus complex, evolving through loving Dew. After all, we were friends and locked in combat about our literary achievements and possible careers, trying to excel and compete with each other. How come, all this sexual openness lead to such unusual desires. Were they always in us innate and had to come to the fore one day? Did they emerge from the closet, like the bony dark hand that had grabbed hold of Dew, suffocating her?

I was baffled about this nightmare, as much as Teeb was about my knowing of Mom’s death.

*

I wanted to see Mother still before she died, if possible, taking leave and rush to the travel office to get a flight, which was impossible as well. I had a bad conscious not doing enough, or taking her illness lightly. I thought of having closed my heart to her lately, after we had a fight at my last visit. I wished to express to her my thoughts about our relationship that was hurt, when her second husband appeared on the scene.

Since then we had differences. I could not stand his sight. There was zero communication with him. He was stubborn and crude, never cared about mother. It was a continuation of pain, not a solution after Dad’s disappearance, as we called it. It’s the generation gap, my aunt called it, but I met her and discussed with her my situation, and she finally had a different picture about me, which she must have communicated to my mother. Then mother lamented, wanting me back. I succeeded to get her to visit us. It felt great and we had a good time. Almost as good as our sleigh-riding, only this time we visited the sub-tropical beaches of South Africa and swam in the Indian Ocean. I wished I could make-up our differences and let her know that I loved her. But she knew. These differences were on the surface and minimal, even trivial, of no importance, but love was all important! We struggled at times, like lovers, in an endless forever recurring fight of minds and just as we became tired, we made-up and loved each other more than before.

At the start of my growing-up, Mom commanded me around and exercised a stiffer discipline, perhaps to replace my father; her perfection of a man. During the time before secondary school I recall my friendship with Bert, who took me in and was a great friend, soft-hearted and kind. He had taken-on the role of a woman, while mother had taken on the role of a man. I could not wait to get to school, away from home, into the capital, where I would step into another world, try to forge my own. Mother opened a shop for handicraft and fashion and whenever I visited, she took me into her shop and taught me inventory and I helped her where I could. I liked the colourful and soft wools she had for sale and I could convinced her to knit me a fashionable sweater with a pattern. But as she could not get my favourite blue colour, I had to be satisfied with second best, she called a cognac colour. I still have the sweater and I wear it in cold weather. It had become my favourite clothing piece. I recall the sleigh ride, whenever I wear it. Its warmth and comfort feels like the comfort she gave me back as a child, never failing or disappointing me. I took it out of the cupboard and put it on, stepping out into the fresh morning air. I sat down at the bench in the garden, below the tall fir tree and listened to the noise of snowflakes falling to its leaves. They fell everywhere. It was a dream. As soon as they touched my face I realized that it was indeed snow that turned into slate. This was an exceptional day. I had chosen the right clothes and winter was coming early.

*

I got up and walked inside to make myself a cup of coffee. I passed the big wall calendar that I received every year from my corporate client. It was Wednesday, the day I was born fifty-six years back. I thought of Dew. She was seven years younger and in the prime of her life, a poet, a writer. Dew always had to criticize something about my writings, be it a poem or a short story. She had admitted that she played-out many roles, as she tried in life to further her personal experience, which she made use of in her writing. That’s why she thought of having a writer’s block. I was chosen by her careful selection of artistic mates, to help her overcome it. Of course I was glad to have an intelligent woman to converse with and exchange views and philosophies with. Perhaps we could write each other poems, which we did. My own world of poetry opened up, I would have stumbled into a wonderful, magical garden. Words meant for us the world. We built another realm for us, we named Dez-Dew and many combinations of DD.

There were great moments of revelation, as we encountered telling each other secrets of our lives we would never tell anybody else. It worked, we fell in love. We were always in love. It was so bad that we wanted to run away together, to our Dez-Dew-Isle. “We are nuts,” she said “but I love it.” There was a deep want, desire, ripened libidos and sexual fantasies present that ended in orgies. We discussed many books of world literature that dealt with erotic themes and those, which she knew about that were translated into English. Most of the authors were known to us and their books were available, like Anaiis Nin, von Sacher-Masoch, George Bataille und Henry Miller and I could order them. Some she gave me as a present, except for a book by Andreas Embeirikos, whom I called the Arthur Schnitzler of Greece, due to Dew’s descriptions of ‘The Great Erotic’, she told me about in a summary. She had been in good luck to secure herself a copy, before the government of the day banned it. But whatever I read from Embeirikos, impressed me deeply. His poems and prose had a gripping effect on me, with surrealistic influences that rendered his magical world more effective.

It was a time of celebration of freedom, thought and sexual life, we shared and it was the most inspired time we had together. “I am happy,” she said “I can write again.” Was it love, or lust, pleasure or the tryst? I do not know. It was everything. Words meant everything and they made us inventive and get excited. Squirm. Dew wanted to possess me, own me, devour me and eat me. She was a living extraordinary sensual woman, one I had never met before. I advanced in learning about poetry and writing. Much to her surprise I improved rapidly and then one day tried to be original and become unique in my expressions. I wrote: The Triad Children.  I was wondering what Dew had to say about it. She commented on it as erotic, but she liked it. I was encouraged to write more. That was the time when she talked to me about her girlfriend, and I had to learn to find out about the make-up of her psyche. It was a trying time for me and took me pains to love her. But there was nothing that shook me after the experience of her loving me and her girlfriend. This was my first experience of this kind of erotic realm. I never before met a girl that loved other girls and also loved me at the same time. “I will love you if you love me,” she concluded and tested my reactions. We had many emotional fights, but then loving was the most intense ever.

*

It is now for some time that I have been musing about life and shed my sorrows that gripped my heart, first with the passing of my mother and subsequently the passing of Dew. For a few months after her death I was mesmerized. Later I was still suffering from the shock of a dead communication line, as I was used to exchange notes and letters continually with her. The critical life support of mental and sensual nourishment, had been severed with one brutal hit. After seven months had passed, I was looking about to further my writing again, which seemed to have taken a serious knock. Only my poetry survived. It was blue and sad, but it flourished. My letters to Irah, Dew’s daughter, remained unanswered. I turned to Elle. She had some feelings towards me, she wanted to air and we loved like telephonic couples do. Then she had to have surgery and she got herself deeply involved in her studies. Despite that she still loved me as a good friend. We never stopped our friendship, even over stops and pauses, where we had other affairs. I loved Elle’s full figure and she did show it to me and I was immediately aroused. She was a most sensual woman.

*

There was a pause in my life, I had to heal. I was still bleeding. The dark-eyed, brown skinned mother took me into her arms. She nursed and kissed me and my own Mother was back again. Into this time I met Sim. She was Dew reawakened. I was falling in love with her, but somewhere I heard Dew’s voice, laughing in the dark, showing her disappointment. Despite that I intended to love Sim. This was my last call, I said to myself. But I found her to be interested in her gender rather and that completely so. Perhaps it was a moment’s blessing, a rest, a vacation, signalling the last phase of my life. Now I had to consolidate, concentrate on survival. It was a late call. I was desperate for earnings; my funds did run out fast. Damned Shit! This was the sentence Dew had sent me, meeting her, when she had realized the end of a great evolving partnership. I am quiet. There are no nightmares now. I do not know what will happen next. I am intending to take another route, Dew and I had discussed many times. It took a detour of feelings that were perhaps an imagination of the deceitful mind. There is the saying: One door closes and another one opens.

Fin.

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