MY ENCOUNTER WITH THE LAST OF THE MOJITOS
aka THE SETTLING YEARS
edited by Calico
“Behold, Beloved,” I cry, helping she for whom my heart yearns climb down from our iconic covered wagon, “…Behold our new home in the unorganised territories west of the Missouri!”
“Oh, Ares,” sighs my worthy helpmeet, “…how romantic it is! And, how perfectly poverty-stricken! Will you carry me over our humble, yet honest, threshold?”
I hesitate. Mary-Pseud, the wife of my bronzed and tautly-muscled bosom, carries the ripening seed of my fruitful loins within her fast-swelling belly and, at the risk of sounding ungallant, now weighs close on…
No, no! It IS ungallant. Bracing myself, I smile, chivalrously, spit on my hands and hoist her up in my steel-strong arms.
“How lucky we are,” I pant, setting her down, “To find this abandoned Osage trading post in which to begin our longed-for life of unremitting harsh toil in this unorganised…”
Suddenly, my admirably well-modulated fluency is interrupted by the door swinging open.
“Greetings stranger,” I greet the stranger, “…I see from your noble features and iconic high cheekbones you are one of the natives of this land where white men are as yet forbidden to settle. Come, copper-skinned brother, enjoy our hospitality within this abandoned Osage Trading Post in which we have made our humble…”
“What the Sam Hill d’you mean, abandoned?” fumes the new arrival. “I wasn’t gone five minutes! I was only in the outhouse! This is MY trading post.”
“Indeed it is, my brother,” I smile, inclusively, laying my tapered fingers warmly on his shoulder. “What’s mine is yours! How admirable a philosophy that is! How my beloved wife and I long to learn more of your worthy culture.”
Mary-Psued, she whose smile can chase away the clouds (Metaphorically that is; it does not work in reality, alas) nods eagerly.
“Come, sit beside our flickering hearth and teach us!” I entreat, pulling forward a chair for our visitor.
“Yes,” chimes in the voice – ever gentle soft and low – of she who lights my darkness. With a little effort, due to the burgeoning of my seed, Mary-Psued lowers herself to sit cross-legged at our new mentor’s feet. “You are welcome in our humble home. Teach us, grandfather.”
“Who are you calling ‘grandfather’? My name’s Bill an’ I’m only thirty!”
“But wise beyond your years from a lifetime of communing with nature and gifted with the unwritten, yet nonetheless valid for being orally transmitted knowledge of your ancestors,” I dimple, delightfully, also sinking cross-legged to the floor and gazing up with rapt anticipation. “Teach us ‘He-who-is-callèd-Bill’.”
“The only thing I wanna teach you is the way outta my house and back to your dang wagon! Geddout!”
My manly forehead creases in puzzlement. The ivory velvet of Mary-Pseud’s brow also furrows. We know he must be speaking in parables, but what is the meaning?
“Do you mean – every destination depends upon the point from which you set out?” asks Mary-Psued.
“Allegorically, not geographically,” I clarify.
“Or, do you mean – the world is a circle without a beginning and nobody knows where it really ends?” enquires my wife, whose intellect rivals my own – though, in a more illogically feminine way.
“I just mean – geddout!”
“Maybe he means – we should leave behind linear modes of thought. ‘Get out’ of the straightjacket which is our western so-called civilisation,” hazards Mary-Psued.
I nod. What a worthy helpmeet she is!
“Teach us more, grandfather,” I contribute. “For we have much to learn. We have never heard the wolf cry to the blue corn moon.”
“Nor have we asked the eagle where he’s been,” chimes in Mary-Pseud. “We have never asked the grinning bob-cat why he grins.”
“How high can a sycamore grow?” I muse. “I cut them all down – so I’ll never know.”
Together, we chorus, “Let us sing with all the voices of the mountains. Let us paint with all the colours of the wind.”
He-who-is-callèd-Bill has grown wide-eyed with admiration at our eagerness to display cultural diversity.
“Sheesh,” he exclaims, with the taciturn economy of words to be expected of his stoical race. “What a pair of…” Without finishing his sentence, he strides out of our cabin, shaking the inky locks upon his noble head.
“Do you think he’s gone to commune with nature?” asks Mary-Psued.
I watch He-who-is-callèd-Bill from the window. “Possibly,” I reply. “It looks as if he’s making himself a bed out in the barn.”
“They’re so inscrutable, aren’t they?” smiles my wife, affectionately.
“Hush, my love,” I caution. “We don’t want to fall into the stereotype trap, do we?”
THE NEXT MORNING
“Good morrow, noble grandfather,” I greet He-who-is-callèd-Bill, looking up from my work on improving our new home with a little All-American oak panelling interspersed with traditional All-American wattle and daub.
“Good morrow, wise teacher,” chimes in Mary-Pseud, who is hanging net curtains and making plans for converting to leaded lights in the windows.
“Which doofus chopped down my Cherry tree?” fumes our honoured houseguest. Or, since he sought solitude last night – our honoured barn-guest.
I square my gloriously broad shoulders and hold my handsome head high. “I cannot tell a lie,” I declare in archtypical All-American phraseology, “…I did it. With my little hatchet.”
“Look!” points Mary-Pseud. “From it Ares has hewed him a tribute to the traditions of your tribe.”
“It is a totem pole,” I smile, proudly.
“Sheesh!” exclaims He-who-is-callèd-Bill, examining the intricate intertwining carvings. “That thing is plain indecent!” He leans forward for a closer look.
“I took your cherry as a symbol of phallic potency and priapic vigour,” I explain. My tapered fingers begin to unbutton my shirt. “I thought we could strip off our outer clothing, oil our manly chests and dance around it barefoot, chanting songs in honour of the buffalo, before heighing us to the forest to commune in masculine mysteries of the hunt,” I carry on, my baritone reverberating with testosterone-fuelled passion. “After making incisions in our hardened palms, to mingle the hot pumping of our virile veins and swearing to live and die as blood brothers, of course.” I hold up my chopper. “Just a little slash, nothing to worry about,” I smile, as I approach him.
He stares at me, wide-eyed (probably with budding fraternal love). Then, evidently impatient to begin the masculine hunt mysteries in the forest, he gives a no doubt traditional yelp, turns on his heel and sprints off at top speed.
LATER THAT DAY
Hot and sweaty, my tautly-muscled chest heaving, delightfully, as I gasp for breath, I finally accept the fact I have utterly failed to catch up with He-who-is-callèd-Bill. Further, since he led me across both water and dry rocks, I have lost his trail.
“How disappointed he will be,” I sigh, “To have missed the chance to become a blood-brother of mine. Poor, poor man. He must be lost and looking for me in vain.”
“How disappointed I am,” I sigh (again), “To have my fraternal intimacy with the noble Osage cut short!”
“And,” I sigh (for a third time), “Yet again, I have lost myself in the forest. What an adorably absent minded, delightfully disorientated doofus I am!”
“Ah me,” I sigh (four and counting), “I will strip myself naked and plunge my perfect – though currently sticky and steaming – body into this handy refreshing creek.”
True, as always, to my word, I strip off the sweat-soaked clothing from my ravishingly beautiful limbs and plunge, headfirst, into the fast-flowing current.
“Ah me,” I splutter, sighing for a fifth time being out of the question due to a mouthful of water, “…Again my endearing reckless impulsiveness has led me astray. I am being carried away by…”
I have more to say, but it is indecipherable above more spluttering. Since I pride myself on the ineffable elegance of my diction, even when only talking to myself, I close my sensuously curved lips. For the time being I shut up and concentrate on staying afloat.
Suddenly, reaching hands are helping me out of the water and onto soft pillows of wild thyme carpeting the bank of the creek.
Glistening diamond drops trace gleaming paths over the bronzed skin of my finely sculpted naked upper torso. Equally glistening diamond drops trace equally gleaming paths over the equally bronzed skin of my equally finely sculpted equally naked lower torso. Yet more glistening drops trace the contours of my not quite so bronzed, but pertly taut buttocks. I shake still more glistening diamond drops out of my meltingly dark eyes and gaze up at my rescuer, preparing to pour out fluent and well-phrased thanks to him. Those same meltingly dark eyes widen in surprise as I see a trio of bewitchingly beautiful Indian maidens.
They in turn examine every inch of me. “Phwoar!” they exclaim. Doubtless this is some traditional native greeting.
Pulling me further onto the bank where the wild thyme grows, they roll me over onto my back. Their eyes widen in turn. “PHWOAR!” they repeat.
“Phwoar,” I respond, politely, ever keen to demonstrate good manners. “I owe you my life. How can I ever repay you, oh beauteous Indian maidens?”
They exchange glances. “We’ll think of something,” responds the first of my rescuers who is kindly trying to brush water off my – person. At least, I assume that’s what she is doing.
A doubt strikes me as I examine them more closely. “You ARE Indian maidens?” I check.
“Certainly,” responds the stroker. “Don’t we LOOK like Indians?”
To be honest they do not. They look distinctly like ladies of definite Anglo-Saxon ancestry wearing dark wigs, scarlet lip rouge and a lot of eyeliner designed to give them a vaguely ‘exotic’ appearance.
A second beauty, currently helping her companion dry me off by pressing her body closely against mine, notices my hesitation. “Aren’t we DRESSED like Indians?” she pouts.
“Er…sort of,” I hedge. They ARE dressed in thin – make that thin and closely clinging – animal hide tunics. And feathers. And fringing. However, I would have thought either slightly longer skirts, or the addition of breeches would have given their smooth, slender, silky, eminently strokable, golden upper thighs more protection from the rigours of a largely outdoor life in rough terrain. Likewise, the wind can be cutting around here, so their deeply low cut bodices and those strategically placed slits to reveal taut, washboard bellies must be chilly in winter.
“And,” breaths the third into my ear, from which I assume she is benevolently attempting to remove a shred of pond weed with her tongue, “Do the words of our mouths not Indian sound, oh he who we shall call Frolics-with-Fishes?”
“Not until now,” I say. “And, even now – it’s more English with an unspecified accent and oddly placed verbs.”
Three magnificent and strangely gravity-defying cleavages heave at me in a front. Sorry, they heave in affront.
Realising I am failing in politeness, I give a charming, dimpled smile. “Would you ladies do me the ineffable honour of granting an introduction?”
“My name is callèd Mandy,” says stroker. “It means, She-Whose-Anachronistic-False-Eyelashes-Are-Preposterous.”
“My name is callèd Sandy,” says presser. “It means, She-Whose-Frosted-Lipstick-Is-A-Seventies-Dead-Give-Away.”
“And, I’m Randy,” says licker, whose tongue has left my ear and is working its way down my flanks in her selfless quest to scoop up drops of creek water. “Just Randy – it doesn’t mean anything.”
“We hail from the long lost tribe of the AhMeErogenousZones, sometimes shortened to AhMeZones,” begins Mandy who appears, from the extra assertive nature of her bosom, to be the leader. “We live in a secret locale deep in this forest of holly wood…”
“Ah! The holly! How I love its evergreen prickliness and flushed berr…” I interrupt, rapturously. Mandy frowns. “Sorry,” I subside. “You were saying?”
“A group of two dozen or so nubile native maidens all in our twenties. We spend our days…”
“All girls?” I check, confusion puckering my manly brow.
“Uh huh. It’s a lonely life…” Mandy goes on, sadly, “Hunting, fishing, dressing, undressing, bathing, lounging nekkid in the hot springs…”
“Practising our massage skills,” adds Sandy.
“Making erotic underwear,” sighs Randy.
“A lonely, lonely, lonely life,” sums up Mandy.
Three sets of appraising eyes gaze at me from between lashes so long one would think they had been glued on. The ladies appear to be waiting for some kind of response.
“What a shame,” I hazard. Silence. Still waiting. “Tchah,” I click my tongue in sympathy.
“Our custom is,” continues Mandy, “That having rendered YOU a service – you now owe US one.”
Never let it be said Ares Heyes, although completely All-American himself, failed to honour the customs of other nations!
“Ladies,” I exclaim, “…It will be my pleasure to give you one! All of you.”
“Hurrah!” yips Sandy.
“Yippee!” yaps Randy.
“Er…what is the nature of this service you require?” I enquire.
They stare at me and then roll their eyes. Eye rolling must be another of their customs.
“Follow us to our village and we will tell you,” proclaims Mandy.
STILL LATER THAT SAME DAY
“No!” I yelp.
I am seated as guest of honour in the village of the AhMeZones, surrounded by more suggestively sensuous totem poles than even I could shake a hewing stick at. I am also surrounded by scantily clad maidens. Or, at any rate, young women. Mandy has just explained the exact nature of the service required of me.
“I can’t do it!” I gasp (as a change from yelping).
At least twenty-four sets of gloriously creamy feminine shoulders droop in disappointment at these words. At least twenty-four bosoms heave. Make that last figure twenty-five. Mine heaves too.
“Can’t do it?” they chorus, devastated.
“I mean,” I amend, ever truthful, “I CAN do it, but I WON’T. I have vowed to be ever-faithful to lovely Mary-Psued. My heart is hers alone!”
“She can keep sole rights on your heart,” comes the matter-of-fact voice of Randy. “It’s the rest of you we’re staking a claim in.”
“Never! While undoubtedly physically delightful – especially for you lucky ladies – it would be morally wrong.”
“But,” argues Mandy, “Morality is a socially determined construct. OUR ethical code prioritises reciprocity of favours! Failure to deliver satisfaction is the deepest insult which can be given!”
Murmurs of agreement and nodding from the ladies.
“AND, in any case, all exclusivity of sensual pleasure is considered null and void on any day with a ‘Y’ in it!” Mandy folds her hands on her still-heaving bosom and with great reverence bows to the most fulsomely forthright of the totem poles. “On such special days unselfish sharing is the highest and noblest virtue.”
ALL the ladies join her in bowing.
Watching this synchronised solemnity of two dozen lissome tribeswomen bending over puts me in a quandary.
“You have put me in a quandary,” I say, crossing my legs.
You see, I am determined at all times to be an exemplar. That is, if a woman were creating a perfect female fantasy figure of what a man ought to be – I would be it! Up to now, I considered absolute marital fidelity an unarguable pre-requisite for such a fantasy figure. However, as my eyes travel over the many limpid and lovely eyes on me – so young, so hopeful, so trusting – as my eyes see so many mouths open in eagerness for my response, pink little tongues moistening plump, pouting lower lips, my certainty wavers. As well as fidelity, I am also required to display an anachronistically advanced cultural sensitivity to ethical codes and mores other than my own.
After all, it IS Tuesday – one of their ‘unselfish’ days.
Who am I – from my privileged position as a white, upper middle-class, Eng…I mean, All-American man – to presume my values trump those of a Native Matriarchal society?
“Who am I,” I exclaim, “…to presume my values trump those of your wholly worthy and equal Native Matriarchal society?”
Once more I scan the rows of hungrily flushed faces waiting on my decision. Beads of sweat bedew my nobly formed brow. One of my principles has to give! Which one? I do what I very seldom do, I dither. What about Mary-Psued? Will she agree with my reasoning? Or will feminine illogic take over?
“Er…” I hesitate.
A wide smile wreathes Mandy’s face. “While you are thinking it over, drink this.”
A large brimming beaker smelling of distilled cane sugar, lime and mint is handed to me.
“What is it?” I ask, trying not to sound suspicious.
“A traditional – er – herbal potion,” she says. “To refuse would insult our honoured ancestors who devised the recipe.”
“It will help you make decisions,” beams Randy.
“Help me make the right decisions!” I marvel.
“Er…we just said ‘decisions’,” modifies Sandy.
I take a sip. I lick my perfectly curved lips. Delicious! I take a gulp.
“Would you like some?” I offer, chivalrously.
“No, no,” demurs Mandy, “…It is our wish that YOU finish the last of the Mojitos.”
I take another gulp. “Carrumba!” I hiccough, happily.
“You keep drinking,” smiles Mandy. “You lot…” she turns to her tribeswomen, beginning to cluster forward, “Form an orderly queue! Randy! No shoving!”
THE NEXT MORNING
I raise my handsome, though currently throbbing, head from where it is pillowed on some strange young woman’s…
I scratch my silken hair, dislodging a scarlet feather or two.
What the Sam Hill happened last night?
Surely I did not betray Mary-Pseud, neither in thought, nor word, nor deed?
No! Such a thing would be impossible!
Rubbing my bleary – though still gorgeously deep and expressive – eyes, I gaze around at the two dozen sleeping bodies, all wearing satisfied smiles, if not much else.