On the water down in New OrleansMy baby’s the Pearl of the QuarterShe’s a charmer like you’ve never seenSinging, “Voulez, voulez, voulez-vous?
Sunday, October 02, 2005
The babysitter arrived right on time, I was reading my online news and blogs while Monsieur was putting the children in their pajamas. Littlest Boy was asleep already, as I had worn him out with water play, chasing me, giggling, fingerpainting, building forts, and more water play.
I wore my little red dress and sapphire earrings that Scott gave me for my birthday, feeling a little smug that I had dumped him but had enough sense of myself to not toss out everything he ever gave me. [D] was in a gorgeous gray suit and tie, and he smelled nice too. “What is that you’re wearing,” I asked him, “eau de Cologne?”
“No, it is only shaving soap, in the scent of, as you say, Bay Rum.”
It smelled better than any Bay Rum I’d ever smelled before, and I told him so.
“Ah, well, it is French and I received it from my sister as a Christmas gift,” he explained.
Yum, thought I.
The first thing we did was have dinner – he took us straight to this beautiful little place in downtown Austin, Continental-style fine dining. He told me that he had “always wanted to try it,” but then I thought it odd that everyone seemed to know him.
“Good evening, [Mr. D],” the host said, smiling, “and how are your children?” This last with a not-unfriendly eye on me.
“My boys are splendid,” Monsieur replied. “May I present to you the young lady who has agreed to care for them, Ms. [Yearning Heart]. [Yearning Heart], my dear friend Marcel.”
“Delighted to meet you,” said the host with a slight bow. “I have a great admiration for young people who work with children.”
“Charmed,” I replied, and I was.
They briefly spoke to each other in low voices, in French. I didn’t catch very much of it. I was an A student in French for years, but classroom reading and conversation drill is no substitute for being immersed in the language for any length of time.
“This is lovely,” I said as we sat down and Marcel handed us our menus.
“Yes, it is. I have a friend who is wine steward here, and he worked in a café where [Maggie] and I played on occasion. He recommended this restaurant highly. It opened last year, and has won a few local critical awards.
I was impressed. I looked at him as he read over the menu. Then I remembered I hadn’t eaten all day. The menu, in French, was very impressive, too.
“I know that Marcel makes a wonderful salmon, with capers and rosemary,” Monsieur ventured.
“That sounds amazing,” I said, “I’d love it.”
“As for me, I think the seared sea scallops and porcini risotto. After this are you amenable to hear some friends of mine play at the cabaret down at the Hotel Historic?”
I was on the verge of devouring him, but instead, I said, “Yes, Monsieur, that would be very nice.”
He looked over the top of his menu at me and smiled. “Now my dear, I think you know me well enough to dispense with the honorific when you talk to me.”
“All right, [D],” I agreed, “but honestly I like to call you that,”
“Hello, [D],” our waitress was at the table.
“Ah, good evening, Melanie,” Monsieur looked up and smiled. “I’m glad you are working tonight.”
“How are you getting along? Is this [Yearning Heart]?” She smiled at me. She had long blonde hair which was in a braid on her shoulder. “I’m Melanie; I used to baby-sit for them. [D] got me my first restaurant job over at the Belgian.”
“I’m delighted to meet you,” I said, wondering to myself if Monsieur knew everyone in the world.
“Melanie,” Monsieur said, “you know perfectly well I only gave you a reference. You earned your way into that job.”
“I’m glad you’re around,” Melanie said to me. “I’m glad you’re helping out, I mean, if you don’t mind my saying so. I heard a little about it, you know, from people, and I think what you’re doing is really wonderful.”
“Thank you,” I said, a little flattered again.
Monsieur ordered for us, and also ordered a sparkling wine. I hadn’t had much to drink in months, but as it arrived I decided to go for it, since I figured, “I don’t have to look after kids tonight, I should live a little.”
Dinner was wonderful. He talked about when he was young and where he traveled instead of going to university, his regrets about not finishing his degree, Africa, the Middle East, France, China. I talked about acting, literature and that led to history. He has a vast knowledge of the history of technology, of military tactics and of human ignorance. We were finishing our bottle when he looked at the time.
“We should go soon,” he said. “Susie will be playing with some guests tonight from New Orleans. Usually the [Navarres] are late, but since there are only two of them playing tonight, I can’t be certain.”
“The [Navarres]? The [Navarre] Brothers are playing tonight?” I was amazed.
He held a finger to his lips. “They are not the actual act. They are joining Susie [W.], who is doing a jazz act at the Hotel Historic, sort of as surprise guests. It’s rather a secret, so keep your voice down,” he smiled.
“Well, I’m ready,” I said, finishing the wine.
Monsieur paid the tab and we left. The town was alive with night life and it felt good to be on Monsieur’s arm as we walked along the main street in Austin over to a large and beautiful old hotel. We entered and he threaded us through the lobby to the elevator. A cabaret was on the third floor.
We walked in and I felt somewhat underdressed. Ladies in elegant evening wear, men in tuxes and pinstripes. The hostess knew Monsieur, (naturally, I thought to myself by this time) and seated us two rows back from the grand piano.
Susie [W.] was singing what I found out was a Cole Porter song. I had been learning the names of jazz standards, just going through [Maggie’s] record collection, and her sheet music at home. I felt self-conscious because of my naughty little dress which was more suited to a dance club than a cabaret, but Monsieur seemed perfectly all right with me. I leaned against him in my seat and enjoyed the show.
Three or four songs into the act, Susie was chatting with her audience, talking about some benefit for the latest hurricane victims, and then she said, “Another old friend of mine is in the audience tonight; we used to rehearse together in a different band. I was hoping perhaps I could get him to come up and play a little jazz with me! Would you do that, [D]?”
A spotlight fell on our table and there was some polite applause. Monsieur shook his head, and called up to her, “But I am not here to perform! I am with a lady tonight!”
“One song? You won’t mind would you dear?” Susie said to me. I blushed but stifled the inevitable sneeze.
“Go ahead,” I said to Monsieur, “I never get to hear you play.”
Monsieur gave in, shrugged, and made his way up to the little stage. The guitar player, standing, smiled at him and hand Monsieur his guitar, with which Monsieur sat down and plucked tentatively. He loosened his tie, leaned back, and started a little intro. Then Susie started singing at it was something that sounded familiar, but I hadn’t heard it before. I found out later that it was a Steely Dan song, called “Pearl of the Quarter”:
I was charmed. There was a sax solo, then Monsieur played a guitar solo – very subdued and restrained, but I’m no judge and then Susie and the piano player did a little trade-off back and forth with the “voulez-vous” theme. Very nicely done, I thought.
Monsieur sat down to polite applause; these people hadn’t come to hear him play but he had done well. I held onto his arm tightly.
Susie introduced her next surprise guests; the two [Navarres] came onstage to accompanying whoops and a standing ovation.
As soon as the first backbeat began, the women got up to dance, dragging the men up or going by themselves, The wait staff hurried to pull the empty tables back to create a dance floor.
I looked over at Monsieur.
“Would you care to dance?” he asked.
“Well, I can’t dance for long,” I said. ‘My toe is a little sore.”
“Good thing that you did not wear high heels then,” he replied. He took me by my arm and we danced to the Creole rhythms of the [Navarres]. Susie sang about Mardi Gras, Bourbon Street and voodoo. I was feeling possessed by a benevolent magic goddess of sex and spirituality.
We danced for what seemed like hours, taking breaks to drink water and more wine. I was feeling light-headed but I wasn’t paying attention.
Sometime after midnight, I looked at his watch as if through a haze. “We should start heading back,” I said.
“We have plenty of time,” Monsieur replied.
“No, I mean, I have to work tomorrow,” I then stood on my toes and whispered in his ear, “and I will want some time with you, alone; perhaps we could maybe find a quiet country road where we could … run out of gas?” I winked at him, feeling flushed.
He smiled and said, “All right.” He got the waitress’s attention and paid off our tab, then waving to Susie and nodding to the drummer, we made our way out to the street.
I wanted to fuck him then and there, but I behaved myself until we got to the van. Then when our doors were locked, I leaned over him and kissed him for the first time that night, parting his lips with my tongue and melting into his mouth.
“Mon dieux,” he said when I finally pulled away.
“Let’s get out of here,” I replied a little too urgently.
It’s a long way home from downtown Austin to his little ranch out in the country. I looked out the window and saw stars like a sea of iridescence, then my eyesight swam before me and that’s the last I remember.
I woke up in my little shelf bra and my tiny panties that I had worn under my dress. I was in my old bed upstairs, in a dark room. Monsieur was not with me. My mouth was dry and I had that slightly hung-over feeling, not headachy but feeling stretched rather thin.
I stumbled downstairs. As I awakened, I became acutely aware of how horny I was. I saw the kitchen clock as I passed by. 5:30 AM. Geez, I must have been out like a light. Damn that wine.
Monsieur was asleep in bed. Littlest Boy was curled up next to him. I gently picked up Littlest Boy and moved him to his own bed. I crawled in bed next to Monsieur and pressed my body to him. He was warm. His body smelled good, slightly athletic but not overpoweringly sweaty. The Bay Rum scent had faded but still made me a little crazy for him. My head went under the covers as I sought his cock.
Rubbing it through his underwear, I cupped it then pressed my mouth on it. It was not hard but I thought I could fix that. I lowered his waistband.
He made a sleepy noise, then turned to his side, away from me.
Hmm, I thought. I climbed over him to the other side. This should wake him up, I thought. I tugged his underwear down and took his cock into my hand, licking the tip of it.
“[Yearning], not now… please,” he murmured. I looked up at him. His eyes were open. He pulled me up into his arms.
“Are you sure?” I whispered. “I really … really need it.”
“I am exhausted,” he said. “I’m sorry. If only you had not fallen asleep last night.”
“I’m sorry! I’m not used to drinking,” I protested. “Can’t I just have a little one now and then later we can take care of you? Like later tonight?”
“Darling,” he said, holding me tight and whispering, “let’s wait. It will be better if we do.”
Damn, I thought. Damn that wine, damn that man. “Do you promise?” I whispered. God, I sound so pathetic, I thought.
“I know it would be better,” he whispered.
“Do you promise to take me tonight?” I gently pleaded.
“I won’t promise, but I will do all that I can to make it happen,” he whispered, kissing my hair.
“I need it, Monsieur,” I almost cried. “Please remember that.”
“I know, [Yearning], and I will do my best.”
See that you do, I thought, and spent a sleepless morning in his arms, as he held me as he slept.