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Taboo: A Memoir Ch. 11-12

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Chapter Eleven

Back in Denver we tried to go through the motions of normal life, but we were overcome by dread of what Jacquot would do. We tried making love a few times, but mom was nervous and I was limp. He must’ve wanted to draw out our agony because he waited almost a week before calling. I could tell it was him by the way Diana’s usually open, active face tightened when she answered the phone. She turned on the tape recorder she’d brought from the office and asked, “What do you want?” She motioned me to pick up the extension in her room.

When I did, Jacquot must’ve heard a click on the line, because he said, “Sounds like the little motherfucker just picked up the phone, that right?”

I was silent.

“Who taught you to do that, huh? While I was in the joint fuckin’ my fist, you two were fuckin’ each other. Ain’t that sweet. You must’ve been practicing a long time…got quite a bag of tricks. Sure a lot of stuff you never did with me.” Beneath the hatred, his raw voice held pain from being left out and unwanted, the ultimate family rejection. But I couldn’t feel sorry for him. He was trying to ruin us.

“But your diddle days are over. I got a new job, much better pay. Professional photographer. I want to show you some pictures I took on my vacation. They’ll make great postcards, send ’em to all your friends, your boss, everybody. When do you want to see ’em?”

“That won’t be necessary,” Diana said.

“Aw, come on. I thought you were interested in artwork. Some of these are pretty experimental.”

“How much?”

“You want to buy the whole exhibit? A sold-out show. That’ll cost you. A lot of people will be interested in these.”

“How much?”

“Two hundred thousand.”

Diana sounded like she’d been hit in the chest. “That’s ridiculous. I couldn’t begin to get that much.” In 1968 two hundred thousand dollars were like half a million today.

“Hey, us artists got to make a living. And you’re a banker’s daughter. Hit up the old man.”

“He won’t give me a cent. He cut me off a long time ago.”

“Then rob his bank. Hey, what’s he gonna say when he sees the pictures? What’s your boss gonna say? Incest is a heavy duty crime, bitch! You and little motherfucker goin’ to prison. I got a nice shot of him branding your ass—now I’m gonna brand you both as freaks. Your lives are over. Over! Unless you come up with two hundred yards…quick!”

Diana sounded broken, trapped. “Give me some time…to see what I can do.”

“I’ll call you next week. And by the way, I know you’re taping this. You can tape your pussy shut for all I care. Doesn’t matter. No way can you go to the cops now. Nothing matters but your getting the cash. Small bills. Fast.” He hung up.

We sank together onto the couch, mom sobbing, me trying to comfort her. Prison, I thought with a shudder. They won’t even let us be cellmates.

“He didn’t used to be like this,” she said.

I wasn’t in the mood to hear anything good about Jacquot, so I said, “He is now. That’s all that matters.”

“It’s not all that matters,” she insisted. “How he got that way matters too.”

I let that go. “What are we going to do?”

She tossed it back at me. “What do you think?”

I mulled it over. “Is there any chance that grandpa would…lend you the money? Maybe we could say I had some terrible disease.”

She shook her head and bit her lip. “He’d want proof. He’s a banker. They get instantly turned off when a person really needs a loan. That’s when you can’t get one. Besides, he’s still pissed that I’m on the board of Lawyers for Peace. Says I’m dragging the family name through the mud again. He’d be convinced I’d give the money to the Viet Cong.”

“Maybe”—I started speaking out a half-formed idea—”we could have Jacquot over here…tell him we’ll give him the money…he comes over…and I kill him.”

“No!” Diana waved her hands to shut me up. “Don’t even think about it.”

“But wait, let me finish. We could make it look like self defense. He attacked us…he’s a crazy ex-con. We had to defend ourselves.”

“Tommy, that’s crazy.”

I became suddenly furious that she’d discounted my idea. “It’s not crazy. He’s crazy! That’s true. It is self defense. He’s trying to destroy our lives…and you’re making excuses for him.”

“Stop this! I don’t want to hear it.”

I rushed on, seized with the idea. “We can figure out a way. You know the law. And I’ll be the one to actually do it. We can make it seem like it was his own weapon…a switchblade or something…that he attacked us with. I’ll stab myself a couple of times to make it look real. The cops’ll believe it.”

Diana pulled away from me and stood up angrily. “You’ve totally sunk down to his level. And it won’t work. I’ve seen enough blackmail cases. He’ll have a copy of the pictures hidden somewhere. And he’ll leave word with somebody. If anything happens to him, the pictures go to the DA. Then we go to jail—for incest and murder.”

As soon as she said it I knew she was right, but I was still too mad to admit it. “But what are we going to do?”

“I don’t know, but we’re not going to kill him.”

I frowned. I still liked the idea.

She must’ve pendik escort known that because her tone turned urgent. “Tommy…I mean Tom, I’m sorry…you have to promise me you won’t do anything like that. Ever. I really need your promise.”

“OK, I won’t. Promise.”

“You won’t promise…or you won’t do it?”

“I won’t do it,” I said with irritated slowness. “I promise.” I still wanted to though.

Mom sat back down beside me. “Here we are fighting. It’s exactly what he wants…to drive a wedge between us.”

I saw she was right and I was playing into his game, but I couldn’t apologize or say anything. I took her hand, and we sat still for a while. I put my arm around her.

She squeezed my hand, but her face turned even sadder as she said, “Remember I used to worry that we’d be punished…that something terrible would happened to us? Now I guess it has.”

“No, don’t buy into that,” I told her. “We’ll find a way out of this. Why don’t we just disappear? Look, we could drop out, move somewhere else, change our identities…just like the Weather Underground.”

“It’s an idea.” She mulled it over. “But then I’d have to stop being a lawyer. And what else could I do?”

“You’d find something. And I could get a job.” I was getting more enthused. “We’d be new people. We could even…get married!”

Mom looked at me lovingly. “That’s so dear of you,” she said, tears running down her face.

I held her close. “Why not? We could change our ages too. You look twenty-five.”

“Thank you. You’re certainly my biggest fan. Getting married! You sweetie. I’d love to be your bride and stand up in front of the world and say ‘I do’ to you.” She kissed me. “We’ll think about it. The thing is, going underground would put us at the rock bottom of the economic pile. And that’s a hard place to be in this country. I couldn’t prove I had any degrees. I’d be a terrible waitress. And I really love practicing law. But not as much as I love you. We’ll keep it as a possibility.”

For now we were too nervous and frightened to decide what to do. We had to keep the drapes shut all the time. We couldn’t hold hands or walk arm in arm in public like we used to. Having to hide hurt us, but not as much as jail would. Mom’s face stayed tense and strained, and she gnawed on her thumb so much that I threatened to paint it with that liquid pepper they use to break children of the habit. She drank three glasses of wine at dinner rather than one. We still couldn’t make love.

Diana calculated that with all her savings and borrowing from friends she could raise about $45,000. There was a chance Jacquot would settle for that, but she knew once she started paying him it would never end.

Finally we realized we needed to get away to someplace where we could think clearly and be ourselves again. Someplace remote and different, yet not too far away. We decided to fly to Key West for a few days. Mom drove to the airport while I peered out the rear window: No motorcycle. I walked the aisles of both the jumbo jet to Miami and the commuter plane to the Keys: No Jacquot.

Key West turned out to be the perfect place—the mood there is so free and easy. It’s a very accepting town, maybe because of all the gays. And maybe because it’s hard to be uptight in the tropics—puritanism seems to be a northern disease. Amid the palm trees and sultry air we felt we could let our guard down. No one stared as we snuggled close in restaurants and smooched on park benches like other lovers.

The weather was ferociously hot, and Diana’s clothes weren’t light enough. In one of the little boutiques I bought her an almost see-through cotton blouse, leather sandals, and a suede miniskirt. It made me feel great to spend the money from my soda-fountain job on her. We looked so much alike that it was obvious we were mother and son, so the boutique staff gave us indulgent smiles, as if to say, How sweet. They did seem a little shocked when I went into the try-on booth with her, but they were too sophisticated to say anything.

She looked spectacular—bare thighs stemming out beneath buttery soft suede that clung to her buns like her own skin, alluring fullness of her breasts and twin peaks of her nipples beneath the thin cotton. In this heat I was finally able to convince her to go braless.

We knew we were taking a certain risk carrying on like this, but we were so bottled up that we had to release the pressure and prove to ourselves we had the right to be the way we were. No one here knew us, and no one who knew us knew we were here. We’d flown and registered under false names.

That night in the restaurant she told me the suede was a little warm, but she’d figured out a way to air condition it. She pulled the skirt up a few inches—we were sitting side by side in a corner with the tablecloth hanging down in front of us—and she wasn’t wearing any panties. Her dear pussy was right out there in the fresh air, proud as could be. It was such a turn on. She gave me a wicked grin and said, “A girl’s gotta keep cool.”

“And a boy’s gotta have an appetizer.” After checking to be sure no one could see, I stuck my finger through her hair into her cove, then licked her gourmet juice. “Um! Delicious escort pendik sea food they have here.”

She patted me through my pants. “Their oysters and eels are supposed to be a specialty.”

“Maybe we can get a take-out order.”

Mom and I were back in gear, rampaging lovers once again.

After dinner we went dancing at a disco, doing the dirty bop under a strobe light. The flashes went right through her blouse, showing every quiver of her breasts. We soon scampered back to the hotel and did the dirty bop lying down.

We rented our own private island for the day, a Desert Isle Hideaway, popular with honeymooners. The staff boated us out in the morning and would pick us up in the evening. Riding the inflatable rubber boat was like riding her: a swaying, plunging surge through a warm, enveloping sea with unlimited depths below. Flying fish leaped from the water, porpoises rolled on the surface, and a huge turtle swam beneath us.

The breeze furled mom’s auburn hair out to the sides, and the strong sun brought out the red in it. She wore a Thai silk sarong over her bathing suit, and this concealment made her legs look even sexier.

The island had a thatch-roofed hut covered with vines whose blossoms were as lush and aromatic as her flower. Two hammocks hung in the shade. Surrounding the hut were bamboo and mangrove trees and a small sandy beach. That was it. We could see a few other islands on the horizon, but the land dimension seemed insignificant—our world was mostly sun, sky, sea, and each other.

Off came our bathing suits, on went the suntan lotion. I rubbed it all over her, especially her breasts, which were like pink pearls but soft and warm. I got on my knees in front of her, massaged her tummy and enjoyed the scent of her inner female ocean. I licked its salmon-colored shores, savoring her sea tang, then lotioned her crotch until she said, “Don’t put any inside. The sun doesn’t shine there. And it certainly doesn’t need to be any wetter, thank you.” But she lathered my cock, saying, “We don’t want it to get sunburned and put out of action. It’s already rather red.”

We walked together into the clear warm Gulf Stream wearing only our snorkel gear. Mom touched my hard-on and said, “Be careful a barracuda doesn’t bite this thing off. We’d be in real trouble!” Then she splashed me and swam away. I followed her, looking anxiously through my mask for man-eaters, but all the fish were small.

I watched the rippling flow of Diana’s orbs underwater, so buoyantly responsive to every movement. She swam with a frog kick, and I stared at her behind from behind: the bunch and flex of buns, thrust of thighs, muscles working the bellows of her legs to propel her forward. Magnified by my mask, her snatch, prodigious and powerful, opened and closed with her legs: red clamshell lips valving through the water; inner frills leafy and pink as the delicate anemones growing on the coral and the lacy sea fans moving with the current; cute little puckered anus enjoying the ocean’s warm embrace; air bubbles caught in her hairs shining like jewels. Sunbeams skeined down onto her legs, snaring them in a net of shimmering light. Up front her tits bobbled and oscillated, nipples erect from the titillation of the water coursing over them. She’d become a female sea mammal now, one I wanted immensely.

I knew this vast ocean encircling the world was the lavish cunt of Mother Nature. We all come out of it and yearn to go back in. Now I was swimming in it, feeling its warm flow caress my cock, staring at my mother’s cunt which I would also soon enter.

When I stroked her legs, she decided to take a break from swimming. We stood in the chest-high water with her breasts floating luxuriously out at me. Clutching her ass, I scooped her up in my arms, light as a feather, and she wrapped her legs around me. Her pubes tickled my stomach. We danced around, but walking was awkward with the flippers. I hoisted her onto my mast and tried to put it in her, but we couldn’t get our two members to mesh underwater. Maybe we were the kind of amphibians who needed to mate on land. The beach looked inviting. We swam back to it and flopped up onto the sand like sea turtles, our ankles still in the waves. Diana pulled me down on top of her, saying, “Just wallow all over me. Fuck me like a walrus.”

I shoved it into her and she opened up and took it until it was all inside and she was twisting and groaning with her eyes rolled back. The slick warm wetness of our merging organs transported us into joy while the ocean dripped off our bodies, little crabs scurried out of the way, and sea gulls cawed enviously above. I let all my weight go heavy on her and started flogging it to her. “Mom, you’re such a beautiful animal.”

“I want your sperm,” she said throatily. “You’re my sperm whale.”

Grunting and heaving, skin sugared with sand, we floundered across the beach, two vulnerable mating creatures driven by instinct. Water droplets prismed tiny rainbows on her cheek. While humping her, I nudged a breast into my mouth and sucked in her ethereal milk. Diana reached up and squeezed my shoulders as they rolled above her. “So strong.”

For a glorious long while we cavorted and played and pendik escort bayan moved as one creature, our force swelling like a tidal wave. My fingers fondled her clit where our bodies joined below. She kissed me wildly all over the face, then sucked my ear. We moved in a unison of seeking, our rutting momentum increasing with each thrust and volley, pressing her curvy form deeper into the sand.

Mom’s sheath tightened around me and my balls throbbed as we started coming. Our coital cries became a wild baying. With an eruption of joy we climaxed together, spurting our love at each other, the friction of the sand making our pleasure grittier. For a divine moment we were united with the ocean, earth, air, everything, all part of a great circle that flowed through us and was us. Nature’s energy was gushing out of my staff into her and streaming out of her breasts into me, a ring of completion.

As we lay entwined on the beach in delirious afterglow, basking in the hot sun, her head on my chest, my hand on her breast, I knew we had to hold onto this love no matter what. Although strong between us, it seemed so fragile now that Jacquot was trying to smash it. I wasn’t going to let him…even if it killed me…or him.

Diana’s delightful voice interrupted my gloomy thoughts: “This animal’s hungry.”

“Good.”

The resort staff had packed us a gourmet lunch of local seafood and fruit. We lay together in a double hammock beneath our shady thatched roof feeding each other with our fingers. Then, sated with sensuousness, we drifted off into a nap.

When we woke up, we went snorkeling again. This time I noticed the coral, sea weed, and tropical fish. They were very nice but couldn’t compete with her.

Our time in Key West really restored us. Occasionally we drifted into the what-are-we-going-to-do blues, but for the most part we just enjoyed being with each other in a safe place. Mom’s face relaxed back into its lively beauty, and her smile returned.

On the flight back, at forty thousand feet with forty below zero outside, I let my sunburned brain sink into the Jacquot problem. At first my fear and hatred flared up, clouding my thoughts. As I let that go, I noticed an idea gleaming there like a shell on the beach. I picked up the idea and looked at it from all angles. It might work…it might not, but it was worth a try. But I knew I couldn’t tell Diana about it until afterwards. She wouldn’t want me to risk this.

Chapter Twelve

The next day I went to visit my father in his run-down apartment building. Scared but determined, I clenched my fists together for strength to keep from trembling, threw my shoulders back, and knocked on his door. Jacquot looked surprised when he opened it. “Well, if it isn’t the little motherfucker!” He stood straighter to show how much taller he was than me, but then the tic started on his face. The black hair on his head, eyebrows, mustache, and tuft under his lip formed a triangle of darkness that contrasted with his pale skin. “Come to see his dad. How sweet. Or are you gonna put the make on me too? Practice for what’s going to happen to you in prison.” His steely blue eyes lacerated me.

I was glad he was being such a pig. It helped me focus on what I needed to do to destroy him. “I came to see if we could work something out.” I tried to force my shaky voice to stay steady.

“Sure. It’s called two hundred grand.” His tone was belligerent, but when he motioned me to follow him into the apartment, I knew he wanted to negotiate. That meant he’d let me stay long enough to do what I came for. I relaxed a bit.

He had one furnished room with a kitchenette. Sunshine filtered through the dingy windows, falling on faded wallpaper and dusty light fixtures with dead flies in the globes. Years of shuffling tenants had worn down the carpeting and the upholstery of the overstuffed chair and couch. Set into one wall were double doors where the bed folded out. Outside the windows were an iron fire escape and a neighboring building just like this one. No wonder he’d wanted to move in with us.

“No way can we get that much,” I said with an adamant shake of my head. “But what I thought was…look”—I gestured impatiently, like a busy man making a business call—”can I sit down?”

“Yeah.” He gestured to the chair and took the couch. He was interested but trying not to show it. I tried to remember to keep my mouth closed when I wasn’t talking to look more mature and in charge.

First we bickered back and forth about Diana’s tightfisted father disowning her and how little Public Defenders make. I kept insisting two hundred thousand was impossible. “Diana’s on the verge of suicide.” I packed my voice full of worry. “I’ve never seen her like this before. She’s threatening to mail the tape of your phone call to the DA—blackmail, parole violation. Then kill herself. I don’t want her to do that. I really don’t want her to. So here’s what I’m willing to do.” I looked him in the eye with as much sincerity as I could. “I’ll deal for you…and pay you that way. I’ll sell the stuff—you keep all the money. I can get into all the schools. Kids are dying to buy dope. It’s the big thing. You just supply me—grass and acid, speed and coke. I’ll take all the risk, you take all the profit. I can pay you the two hundred thousand in a year. When we’re even, you can keep supplying me, but then I’ll keep what I make. You’ll still make a profit. The market is huge.”

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