Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Chapter 17 Muke Muke

After the canoe I contented myself with a native girlfriend. I first met her when she came around selling fruit and vegetables. When we would not buy she would just sit around on our steps. She wasn't real nosy or bothersome. She just sat quietly and watched what we did and how we ran our house. She was really sweat. She also had a "come hither" passivity about her that drew one towards her. I felt it very difficult to stay away.

Soon we were offering her cookies like one would give to a child or a stray dog. She was simply there, peacefully taking us in. She stayed around , watching with those brown "doe eyes," and watched - a porch sitter. We simply acquired her. She was very mature, as most of the young African women were, even at eleven years of age. I would sit on the porch steps next to her and talk.

I watched her full brown breasts slide against her loose fitting blouse. Soon she was bringing us gifts. This posed a quandary, because in Africa, one can't receive a gift without giving one in return. So, once or twice, we gave her a can of meat. A gift of meat, being a very scarce commodity, was a rare treat, and we never gave a can of meat to any other native.

One day she invited me to see her parents. As my parents liked her and trusted her, they let me go.  Since she lived across the river, I paddled us across in my canoe. We sauntered off into the jungle, me following her. I still don't know why, but she seemed to have an inside line of direct communication with me and my family that made us trust her. On the way down the path to her village, we ate some fruit that she picked, and some luku.

When we got to her parents house we had a full meal. We ate, we talked, we laughed. I don't know what kind of a special occasion this was supposed to be, but it must have been meant to be something special. I only realized that later because we didn't see her again for a full year after I returned that day. When I next saw her she had a three month old child. She was only eleven herself. She told me that she had married shortly after my last visit. She said that when she was full with child her husband had left her and gone to the city. She did not know where he was or when he would be coming back.

She seemed to be suffering a great deal and we did our best to help her. She had a quiet dignity about her suffering that was appealing. It seemed to me that she suffered in such a natural way, without complaint, more like the dignity of an animal. I thought it was beautiful, not like the white man suffered. Life for the natives is hard, but they accept it, and it gives them a dignity I wish I had. There really wasn't a lot we could do.

There were also two white missionary girls that I liked to play with. They were the Delaney girls, Katherine and Jill. They went to school in the capitol with me and their parents were stationed at Bangala just like mine. It was fun having girlfriends to play with. I especially had fun the day Katherine decided to go on an outing with us boys. She was the older of the two and also the quieter one. We didn't really know her as well as her sister. So we were surprised when she asked to go along.

We took off on this particular day to the swamps for one of our exploration excursions. The water was always full of bugs and fish and turtles, and always lots of fun. We could go swimming too. Jimmy, Carl and I took her with us up the road and over a hill to the springs. We called this one, Skeleton Spring, because it had bones all over the bottom, protruding from the white sand. I imagined that the natives performed some secret rites of passage there that the missionaries knew nothing about.

When we got there, as was our usual practice, we stripped and dove in for a swim. It was really thrilling to be swimming naked in front of a girl. We loved it. It was an actual acting out of every pubescent male's fantasy. Katherine would not go so far as to take everything off, but she did undress down to her panties and swim with us. 

Then we carried our clothes and went walking along the miniature dikes around the springs. It must have been a funny sight - three little boys with three little erections pointing skyward, tripping along with Katherine faithfully following behind. We spent the whole afternoon with her playing and swimming but we never touched. It was thrilling enough just being with her. She never went along with us again, but this one time had been quite a thrill. We never talked about it, we didn't tell our parents, and she never did it again.

Our little adventure with Katherine was a very innocent and spontaneous event. But an occurrence a few weeks later was very different. This was something arranged by our parents. Even then, I could not figure out why this occurred. For some reason, Katherine's parents and my parents decided to have us sleep together. I think the plan was to get us all acquainted with the facts of life before we were actually able to do anything about it. I'll never know. None of us had yet gone through puberty. We were just arriving.

They arranged for me, the older of the boys, to sleep with Jill, the younger of the girls, and for Carl, the youngest of the boys,  to sleep with Katherine. I think this was done to be sure that if something did happen, no one would get pregnant. Anyhow, all of this was arranged and simply sprung on us kids. Obviously we accepted.

I arrived at the Delaney's that night in my striped pajamas, toothbrush in hand. I was put to bed with Jill, in a back room, in a large double bed. Just before we retired, Mrs. Delaney came in and put out the light. As she closed the door she whispered, "Now remember, don't play doctor." I couldn't believe it! They had arranged this - they had set it up, putting me in bed with their daughter, and then telling us to do nothing. Did they really mean "don't play doctor, or was this a suggestion? I never knew, and still don't to this day.

Having been put in this situation by our own parents, under their authority, I wasn't about to do anything even remotely like playing doctor. That was something to be done in secret, without the consent of parents. We talked, we talked until late into the night, and then fell asleep. It was sweet dreams for me, but dreams only. I never even touched her, except maybe accidentally in my sleep. My pajamas never came off.

We awoke as innocent as when we went to bed. We were quizzed in the morning by her parents. Later I was quizzed by mine. We maintained that nothing had happened - the truth. I asked Carl after he had spent the night with Katherine, what they had done. Again, nothing! They told our parents the same. Who would have done different? We knew our parents were right outside the door with their ears pressed against it. All I can figure is that maybe they were trying to be sure our libido's were pointed in the right direction. Well they needn't have worried about mine.

Planned nights like the ones my parents arranged, nor the spontaneous ones out in the jungle, really cleared things up for me about sexuality. It was all just a big mystery. There were just too many intricacies and innuendos. I read as much as I could about it in the Encyclopedia Britannica. But all their stuff was about how the primates mated and what their sexual habits were. The only other source for this kind of information in Bangala was the pulp novels and detective story paperbacks the missionaries kept for diversion. I read a lot of those. I learned to love to read. These paperbacks took me into a whole other world, one with a lot more license than the one I lived in.

Many of these pulp novels were mostly sexual in nature. The plots weren't usually the most elaborate. I used to watch my father read them. I would watch until I would see him smile, then I would walk by and glance at the page number, later when he wasn't around, I would read that page to see what he was smiling about. When I read them they were usually sex scenes. So I knew a little bit about my father that he wasn't aware of. My parents never really seemed to realize that I read these books. Maybe I was too discreet. I can say they certainly were more interesting than my school books. My school books were dull in comparison.

Whenever I found a book that was particularly dirty, and I didn't want to get caught reading it, I would go hide with it in the woods. I would climb a large tree to my favorite perch and read. No one ever found me there, and no one ever suspected that I read in the woods. I learned to be careful though. One time I got so caught up in the book that I forgot where I was and fell out of the tree. Scared the heck out of me. Luckily the soft earth saved me from breaking any bones. Finally I made a hammock and hung it in my favorite tree. Now I could lay and read all day. I would take breaks only to listen to some rare bird sing his song, or watch a chameleon crawl up a limb.

Many nights I would continue to read by candlelight. With wax dripping on the hand that held the candle, and the other, holding the book, I in heaven. There were many worlds in these books that I had no other access to, and they really enhanced my life, to say nothing of allowing me to exercise my sexual fantasies. Many of the pulp novels were simple vehicles to deliver sex. That's what I thought, anyhow. At my age that was often enough. The climax of most of these books was when the hero seduced or was seduced and there ensued a furtive tumble in a convenient bed. None of the books were concerned with much else but the pursuit of the female and eventual penetration. But I was still looking for more detail. Clinical, down to the bone.

So I searched harder than ever for more books with more detail on the subject. It was actually very healthy for me to have had these pulp novels available. My masculinity and my sexuality were under constant assault from the suppression and repression all around me. With the exception of the anomaly of our arranged - spending the night with the girls, I lived in a world of religious fanatics, puritanical, rigid and conforming to the core. These novels freed up my sexual inhibitions and lessened the repression. In these novels, passions were expressed, amplified, and acted upon. The heroes knew what they wanted and searched for the willing female. When they found her, they vented their passions, and that seemed good. Passions were not condemned, they were satiated.

The atmosphere I was raised in was entirely the opposite. Passions were condemned as "of the flesh," and bound to bring you down. They were to be kept under control or denied altogether. They were sinful, of this world, not the one we were supposed to be striving for. Sex was for procreation, not for fun, and it was only for married partners. As a male, our nature was condemned. We were dangerous, and females needed to be protected. This attitude made me feel guilty for my feelings. I was sinful just by virtue of having lustful feelings. These were to be curbed by whatever means possible.

What made it worse, was that at the hostel we were always held up in comparison to the girls. They were passive, submissive, good! We boys were unruly, bad, and depraved creatures. We were punished daily for our supposed transgressions. This overly frantic desire to control us only made us more rebellious and less willing to behave. If only they had just let us be. We would have been good little boys. But we never got that chance. What misery the myth of being guilty by virtue of original sin caused. There is no escaping original sin. So while we wanted to be good, we were never perceived that way, and so nothing was worse by what we did. With no choice to be good, being worse than we really were, was freedom. We therefore misbehaved with a vengeance. The quiet little girls were constantly held up to us as the better example of the human race. I am surprised we didn't all wish we were girls, we were hounded so much about the whole business.

At least I was not at the hostel now. And since my parents were busy educating and converting the natives, I was left rather much alone, which was very good for me, as supervised behavior is exhausting. Aunt Daisy wasn't here looking over my shoulder. I was home in the bush having fun, reading twice as much as I did when I was in school.

This summer I was particularly interested in an old maid that lived in the house just below ours. She would invite me down to her house to give her back rubs. I am not sure if my parents knew what I was doing or not. For her though, I imagine it was the closest thing to sex she ever got. She certainly seemed to get excited when I touched her. But I never suspected anything other than she needed some musculature relief. If she had wanted more, I never picked up on it. Or maybe she was too repressed and didn't know she really wanted more.

She had another interesting pastime. She liked to raise little dogs - a type of cocker spaniel. She had the male and her spinster sister had a the matching female. Every Christmas, the two spinsters would get together and help their dogs make puppies. It was a big production in their household. The matter became more and more serious, as after several Christmases, and much coaching and watching, there were still no puppies. Although they reported lots of supervised matings, no progeny happened.

They commissioned Uncle Totty, the "go to guy," to build a cart with wheels so they could push the male around on it. They had finally come to the conclusion that the male was just too short to get his organ up in high enough to get results. They would help him! Well, the cart worked, and the sister's Christmas pastime finally paid off. Their bitch produced a litter of pups. I would have loved to have watched those two old maids pushing that cart around with that male dog on it, humping away.

end chapter 17

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

when are you going to add a chapter. it's interesting