Puppa Russa

Dies estexcerptsHe would kiss her and caress her breasts clutching them (as if her breasts were mere rubber balls), and he couldn't figure out just how much cheap male instinct, and how much true passion, was hiding behind his gestures. Those were the gestures of a man who would get aroused every time he undressed a woman, no matter how experienced he was. She was also on fire. Her mind was searching for a place of its own, like a crevasse between two sensations: she felt a palm sliding beyond the elastic of her drawers and the tips of the fingers of another male hand caressing a temple. Her mind was hot and awake but was also experiencing an unpleasant feeling of easiness. She had given in so quick, that he might have thought that she had done it out of pure respect; for fear that she might offend him, out of some kind of a bureaucratic interest of an underling used to the stereotype of unconditioned responses.She came upon the idea all of a sudden, on a dark street behind the central cinema, while the man next to her, Dorin Maresh, was trying to look indifferent to the idea that some comrades of the local apparatus (the ones that he had just inspected in the morning), might have seen him together with this beautiful woman, Tina from the cultural department, in the somewhat ill-famed pub down the hill, where they finally went. Yet, few of them knew that they had been classmates in high-school. While she was sitting next to him at the table and discussing all sorts of things, she was touched by the fact that he was so unskilled and shy with women. Yet it was also some kind of an instinct, as she had been having the keys only for two days and Adina's studio apartment was empty since she had left on holiday for the seaside. She had just watered the flowers that morning. It all came so unexpectedly for her as well, that she suddenly felt her mouth filled with warm and sweet saliva, and ran out of breath. They stopped in front of her block. She climbed up and came back after a minute with a pack of coffee. Since the escapade at the restaurant had not been particularly successful, and he had been on pins and needles all the time, why shouldn't they drink a nice cup of coffee, boiled in a nice coffee pot? Why shouldn't she let him hear a concert of Pink Floyd or a classic guitar record, why not show him the turtle that jumps up to catch your finger through the glass of the aquarium? Why not?At first, the new inspector from the centre and her former schoolmate (at that time she didn't even notice that he existed), was surprised by her proposal (apart from that, his train was leaving for Bucharest in less than two hours). Then he accepted, stuttering and without hesitation. Everything happened incredibly fast, like in a trance, they barely had a sip of Cuban rum. They were undressing with feverish gestures and he was caressing her like a blind man. He was kissing her eyelids, her chin and throat, they plunged in bed and her wet and fresh sex, swollen with blood, felt the stress of his shivering virile member that was hard as a rock. He had climbed on top of her and he was unconsciously rubbing the calves of her legs with the tips of his toes, he leaned on his elbow, panting with excitement, while sticking a hand under her waist, and was embracing her like a fool. Overexcited as he was, he would have wanted to do several things at the same time, like touching her full thighs, feeling in the palms of his hands the roundness of her breasts, wandering about the darkness of her wonders with his forked fingers, and separating her labia and touching gently the tip of her clitoris. They didn't talk to each other (what was there to say, after so many years, between two people who had never been friends before?), and all this silence was rushing in the disorder of his repressed, almost fraternal, gestures, of a man who feels responsible, like in an attempt to make up for the talking. He would have lingered for a long time but she was the one who touched it with her fingers. Her palm was like a hot muff that was twisting and his stem was like a drill in this tight spot of flesh, suddenly soft at touch, moistened by some kind of cold sweat, then so hard that it ached, and suddenly inside her, without her understanding how it had happened, as if she had had it wide and deep, like that of a heifer. It was too big, one could enter too easy, and it felt like penetrating a 100-kg woman. And that's what drove him mad, the fact that he entered too easily, that he felt as if he had been suddenly swallowed up to the root. There was no escape. He had to rush into her with his entire torso, with all the cramped despair that his young dorsal and abdominal muscles and hips were capable of, squashing her buttocks with his fingers, biting her cheeks and chin, filling her hair with saliva and her chestnut pubes with thin, oily and glycerin-like foam, hitting the upper wall of the vagina with angry and terrified blows. Those blows were too short, like the ones of a man who has a small one and who has to live with this embarrassment for the rest of his life. He had lifted her legs up on his shoulders, and in that jerky movement of penetration her buttocks came up against the calves of his legs in such a way, that it sounded like the splash of a fish that jumps out of the water. He didn't know what to do anymore, he lost it completely and he hurried up to finish without thinking of her. Then they separated and put their clothes back on in the dark. They turned on the light and drank Cuban rum with lemon. She boiled coffee for two; he looked at his watch and asked how far the railway station was. Leontina looked him in the eye and suggested that they should spend the night together in Adina's studio. Dorin started and looked at her in an unexpected cold way. Was he afraid that she might set him a trap? Did he suddenly remember the official relationship they were supposed to have? While he was putting on his topcoat, he couldn't hold himself back and warned her. He was supposed to make a report, but that was not the problem, the danger didn't result from that. But somebody had spoken; the guys from the secret services were asking questions about her. That was all he could say. She'd better think about the basketball tour in Austria, from the time when she was a student. What foolish thing had she done back then? What was written in her file? He turned his back on her and climbed down the stairs in a great hurry, without waiting for the elevator. She didn't even get to explain to him how to reach the railway station… She had finally reached the den of the people from the Party and from the state. She wasn't "that girl from the Communist Youth Union" any longer, she had promoted. She had been promoted. She was now discovering the new mechanisms. She had overcome the old boredom. Or maybe she had just become more insensitive. She was starting to get guts and she was smiling. Where could that aplomb come from? Actually, she didn't care about that any more. She didn't search for explanations.She could have done so much by using her high basketball player butt. She could have moved mountains and wrapped them like a bundle of wool around her well-built, yet delicate, legs that were poisoned and naughty, bustling with unexpected impulses. She could have taken them all on, one by one, just as one can string several rings on the thin and agile finger of a mistress. She could have fouled, and dribbled, and dazzled them with passes behind their backs. She could have finished them off with a few expert moves and left them standing there in the mist of the battle field, like Aztec statuettes, with their pricks lifted in vain. Yet, she hesitated. Or she avoided. She just waited. She thought about Mociornitza the shit-head, stinky Baghiu, horny Carp, one hell of a married man and Boerescu the jerk, a nothing doing weenie with sawdust instead of brains. What a bunch of activists!She took her time to study them closely. She stood down in abeyance, waiting with her legs crossed, with her skirt pulled up over the exposed calf of her leg, just like that, with no intention whatsoever, holding a cup of coffee balanced on the saucer on her knees – and there were some knees she got there! – like a man-of-war stationed in the territorial waters of all possibilities, abandoned in some plush armchair, turned over on a rigid office chair of some trade union, slumbering on some train bench on her usual visits in the country, at organizations and committees, boards and offices or even at home, in her negligee, sprawled in bed, lazy or tired, disgusted by everything, simulating a headache in front of some adversary with obscene thoughts who came to visit and simply froze in the corner of the couch under her green, metallic look.She would dreamily twist the cigarette between her fingers, not really knowing whether to light it or not. She also couldn't make up her mind whether to set her silken trap and to spread her irresistible legs in front of that jerk Boerescu or not. Should she astonish that idiot in front of her (who allegedly came to consult her on some extremely important issue), with a seemingly accidental move of revealing the calf of her leg under her dressing gown, or simply leave him drooling enclosed in the dirty subjectivity of every male. Sometimes a little playful devil appeared out of her flesh but it was a skeptic, suspicious, bashful and even lazy one. The guy wasn't worth it. Even the thought of getting there exhausted her. Then she stopped and didn't want anything anymore. Maybe all she wanted to see was that the idiot who would look at her as if he wanted to swallow her together with her lit cigarette was finally gone.Because actually she didn't like to, that is she didn't like to do it, she just didn't like it when it happened, that is, that ugly, dirty, disgusting business, ugly and miserable, stinky and ugly, miserably popular, she didn't like the slavery of the sexual instinct. Or did she? No way would she enjoy it. Not even? No, not even. Yes, but still. No way, you fool! Well yes, because you see? What was she supposed to see? That is, a woman like her. With her wishes. To be honest, she didn't like it done that way. Because it wasn't a big deal if it was done that way. It was nothing. It was really nothing. Although it could have been something, somehow.It wasn't a big deal for the apes either, so why should we wonder about people – said Sami Mushina to her once. He was a nobody who thought of himself that he was a Don Juan, and preferred the solitary pleasure to the pussies of young women around him who were longing for him. "Dearest," he said, "cocks and pussies are mere body parts that react to stimuli just as our jaws do while chewing, just as the mucous membranes, intestines or brain nerves, just as the gall and spleen, just as the hairs on our skin or the muscles underneath. It's just a question of touching, friction, and dilating, contracting, secretion, reaction, opening and closing. Because everything opens and closes in this world, dear comrade, everything grows up and shrinks, everything gets in and out, swells up and down, even the policy of the Party, as one can see in these briefings…"And then she lost her temper because she was not a vulgar woman who could listen to trivial things without even caring but that Don Juan of Sami Mushina was right. He got it. Fucking just like that was stupid! It was a cheap organic thing, no different from the way cats and dogs do it. Making love behind bushes, underneath railway bridges, on the panel of the desk stained with coffee, in warehouses on bales of cotton and clothes, in the office of the analysis laboratory, next to the cast iron stove, on the staircase, in the back of the shed, on straws and hay, in the bath tub and under the shower, in the back seat of the car and in the tightness of the sleeping wagon, making love without knowing why, struck by something one cannot explain, doing it just like that, for fun, like everybody, what a mess!She didn't do it systematically, but she was doing it alright. She would sometimes get confused in such a way, that she felt like she was out of her mind and was just eager to receive a strong and hard one, something that would crack her belly, set her ass on fire and send electric power to her nipples. After all, she was a crazy woman, from the category of those who talk bad things and are full of desire. Just that this whole thing about rubbed flesh, on all sides and in every way, was too little. She wanted more; she wanted something else, a real inebriation, a real precipice, not just an orgasm. She wasn't looking for dismissals, for short and cheap pleasures. She just wanted everything. Everything. But could she count on anybody? She almost burst into laughter. She could never count on anybody. All men were pigs who wanted the same cheap thing, the discharge of sperm, the hot excitement of their own sex swollen with blood and messing up a body with tits, breaking down in the abyss, then the last throb, the satiation, the final snort, going to bed, a cigarette, a glass of brandy, a contended snore. Even the slim teen-agers with pimples on their faces wanted the same thing; even the mailmen, the drivers, the garbage men, the losers, the trade union leaders, the ushers and the guys from the secret services, the secretaries and the clerks wanted it. They all wanted to touch her, to put their hands on her, to let their dirty fingers stick to her ivory and stearin skin. They all dreamt secretly to come closer to her impossible thighs, to tear her dress, her lingerie, her energy aura and to knead her flesh. All men would devour her by looking at her, they all had obscene looks, of domesticated animals, they were all thinking of the same wonder between her legs.And they all would have crawled in front of her; they would have licked her soles, just to feel on their thick tongue the sensation of her cover, just to feel her flesh with their mollusk lips, her flesh of melted gold and slippery marble, her undefeated flesh, undying young and untouchable. And they were all longing to reach her fine pants with black lace, living in their flock of filthy people the same big obsession, gathering around her like a pack with their ancestral desires, with the filth of people suspended by a pair of balls, with their civilization of lustful creatures who can never have enough.They are all disgusting creatures; each and every one of them is just some pathetic talking human being. They all have conversations with her, undress her in their minds, reveal her breasts and buttocks and touch her sex with their short and swollen fingers, talk about the policy of the Party and rip off her skirt at once, spread her legs in a brutal way and crumble down on her in spasms and grunts, stuttering things about who knows what major accomplishments and sticking it in her like a club. It was like the polished rod of a flag, like an artistically chipped club of the typical Romanian peasant. In Pupa russa (The Russian Doll, Humanitas, 2004, Romanian Writers' Union prize), the communist world reconstructed by the novelist, essayist, editor and translator Gheorghe Crăciun (b. 1950) is "far more obscene than Leontina's acts of explicit obscenity" (Ovidiu Şimonca, in an interview with the author in Observator cultural): "Having lived almost forty years under communism, one feels ashamed of how much one was able to put up with. There was a certain color of life, a certain taste, a yeast of the existence I had accumulated in decades, from which I felt the need to free myself. In this book, the body motif is doubled by a political motif."

by Gheorghe Crăciun (1950-2007)