Originally published in The Evergreen Review Issue 110 in 2005.
Taut.. no, magnetic. Yes, magnetic and --sweet. Elusive, subtle. Haptic, I would like to say, but could one really put one's hands on it? It seemed to melt in mid-air. Ah, mid-air! That's funny! That's what it was, in the very middle of the air, in the paunchy hollow of the air, in the soft sweet hollow core of it!
Augustus really did not know how to put it. He had been sitting on the floor when she called him, knees slightly bent and legs stretched out in front of him, leaning back supported on straight wrists, hands flat on the smooth wood. At the sweet bell-tone of her voice, he jerked his head and trunk forward and half-jumped upward and forward thrusting up from his wrists in an ambitious if ungainly effort to heave up off his rear with graceful soaring momentum, but that momentum not having quite sufficed to bring him over his center of gravity, especially since his legs were too far out in front of him, he was expecting to fall back with a thud on said posterior, but instead--it seemed, it was as if, almost-his hands no longer on the floor were planted in mid air, supported, that is, on nothing but a nothing that was somehow--solid! --for a moment, for a couple of moments, long enough to notice that something was amiss. Then he did thud back onto his posterior, straight-arming the floor with his right arm, painfully stubbing the heel of his right hand, and fell to the left crumpled on his left elbow.That was how she found him, as she paused shimmering in the doorway, short skirt swaying above bare knees, suddenly laughing, light as a breeze. Augustus, she said, what on earth!? Jenny! he exclaimed, ruefully rubbing his sore right arm, rueful that is regarding his manque athletic exploit, I'll be right there, but even as he spoke his thoughts were swirling in confusion and doubt, but also with a thrill of suspended disbelief. Jenny was looking at him oddly. Oh, oh, said Augustus, sorry, I'll be right there. No, no, she said, don't bother, I'm not leaving yet, and her lithe form drifted from the frame of the door jamb back into the other room with a tantalizing flip of the skirt. Jenny was his first, real, teenage romance, the knock-out at his prep school, lusted after by his inconsolate room-mate Don who had to make do with an ungainly "dog" from his home town. Right now though Augustus was concentrated on the already dissolving memory-sensation of that mid-air suspension. He gave a little shake of his head as if to dispel the clinging illusion, then lurched up again as he had the first time, and simply bounced back onto his rear with convincing gravity. He grunted a short self-deprecatory laugh, and then started to push himself up from the floor sensibly with both hands still behind him, lifting one hand up, then the other, without thinking, and raising his posterior: and now he realized his posterior was inches off the floor and his two hands were settled in mid-air, bearing down on a nothingness which did not give in the slightest. Indeed his entire body was in the air, he could see that his legs still stretching in front of him were not touching the floor except for the cuff of his pants and his heels, so that he found himself in a very odd, cantilevered posture, like one of those metallic minimal sculptures soldered at the base in an impossible anti-gravitational angle. He hardly dared to breathe, and called out, Jenny! but his voice barely rose above a whisper. He tried not to blink, not to turn a hair, in case some fragile balance might be upset. Augustus knew he was not dreaming, his breath, heavy and raw in his own ears and animating his whole frame, rendered his physical body and the surroundings with fresh immediacy. Without bending his head, he was able to steal a look out of the corners of his eyes and could distinctly make out his hands, which appeared to by distant in this immobility and focus, and it was clear that they were both at least four or five inches above the floor, furthermore he was aware of the absence of any surface friction or touch in his palms and fingers, in fact he could sense the coolness of a slight movement of air within his fingers. Drawing his will to a point, he called out again, Jenny! This time his voice rose to a normal speaking volume but sounded cracked and hoarse. He was desperate to have her witness and her confirmation. Jenny appeared again in the doorway, her features drawn into tight lines of anxiety, no doubt alarmed by his very peculiar tone. This time he did not notice her bare knees or the girlish flare of her breasts under the frock, just the way in which her face was screwed into a tighter contortion which seemed to him to express total disbelief coupled with the undeniable evidence. He had the witness he had wanted. Augustus, she finally cracked out, what, what. He was beginning to feel more comfortable now that he had her eye, and he whispered back, I don't know, I never ? he started to raise one foot, why, he did not know, and now was aware that his only point of contact with the floor was the heel of his left foot. This was a moment of most intense consciousness, he turned his head and stared at the incredulous Jenny with triumphant affirmation, and collapsed to the floor like a castle of cards, all the different parts of body seeming to rush back and floorwards in a reassertion of their physicality and weight, as if he had been several feet up in the void rather than a few inches, his entire body feeling as if it were crushed in its own regained gravity. He lay there stunned, his head aching, and Jennie was already kneeling by his side taking his face in her hands, talking to him incomprehensibly, until he could hear her voice saying, Augustus, Augustus! He raised himself up on his elbows, this time painfully bearing down on the knobby bone of his elbows on the floor, Jennie, did you see? Her eyes seemed clouded to Augustus, her normally smooth brow wrinkled with contradictions ? no, she said, I mean y-yes. Jenny, he said with suffocated excitement, do you realize that what you saw was impossible?! Y-yes, she said, as she touched his forehead, I mean no! No, it was just a moment, Augustus, you have the most amazing ability to balance yourself, you know that.. She spoke volubly, as if to cover up the traces of what she was saying. And she would not look him in the eyes. Augustus pulled himself together mentally and physically, getting up from the floor in disarray and especially disconcerted by what his girl-friend was saying to him. He did not try to talk to her any more at that moment, he was too busy organizing his own thoughts and conclusions, instead he gathered her to him, and felt her groin with his knee, and they began to grapple amorously as they were so used to doing, and the afternoon sank into another hot and moist embrace. But they spoke no more of the incident, she always skirted the subject, and little by little they drifted apart for many reasons it seemed, his going to college a few months later for example, but in reality they were divided by this unavowed common experience, as if it were a forbidden zone. Augustus himself, while deeply marked by amazement and delight at the anti-physicality of the event, gradually stopped thinking about it because of a lack of further confirmation, and being unable to repeat the experience, he even began to doubt that it had actually happened, although a slight thrill of intoxication still vibrated at the back of his head.
In his last year at college it happened again. Augustus had floated through his last two years at Harvard hardly noticing the courses or their contents, hardly distinguishing one professor from the next, only the idlest glance for an occasional female student but never any serious interest outside of books, until he met Liana on a holiday jaunt to the Cape. Liana was simply the most splendiferous feline predator Augustus had ever seen, the bored wife of a wealthy architect who sent his unmanageable and explosive wife to their holiday house on the Island while he pursued his own business interest in the City. Her face (her breasts, her milky thighs as the cliche goes, but they were truly of a creamy touch and delicate white that could best be characterized as milky, her slender Max Ernst viola-shaped back-side!) swam into his mind's eye with an obsessiveness which he knew he would never be able to eradicate however complicated his life's itinerary might be. She captured his youth with an impetuousness he was impotent to resist but not impotent to fulfill, and their repeated couplings and vibratory celestial harmonies would leave him humming like a string instrument for days afterwards. At such times he was, he thought, ecstatically knowledgeable, because he discovered the bliss at the root of the fleshly stock of his body: sex and spirit not irremediably split, but identified and mutually transparent. Be that as it may, they enjoyed each other's company intensely outside of the fleshly transports as well, and would careen about the Island country roads at life-in-their-hands speeds, she in her paint-daubed toreador pants and he in his shoe-lace-loose sneakers, and he would talk endlessly about Kafka and Proust and Lorca while she listened with rapturous unhearing, and she would show him her incomprehensible but immediately, mystically accessible abstract paintings and initiate him into their mysteries, and within minutes they would fall again onto the nearest sofa or bed and suckle and interpenetrate and cling to each other for this passing, tremulous, ephemeral forever, with a passion which while no doubt not divine, surely was smiled upon by God with paternal indulgence. It was after one of these sensual tumults, while Liana was in the bathroom involved in some watery repairs with the mysterious bidet, that his second "experience" occurred. Somewhat tipsy from love and excessive sex, he had gotten up from the much-rumpled bed and padded barefoot and bare-ass to the kitchen where he collected an American student's all-restoring tall glass of cold milk, and plumped down at the kitchen table with it ? only realizing as his head started to drop below table level in a rush that he had misjudged the position of the chair in his inebriated well-being, missing it, and he jabbed back with his hands to cushion the collapse and instead ? found himself solidly supported mid-air. That is, more accurately, he ob-served his own body abruptly immobilized as if tilted back in an inclined chair, only the feet on the floor, knees back, trunk leaning way back beyond any center of gravity, and hands dropped down for the express purpose described moments ago, but without in any way having fulfilled that purpose, since his hands, wide open, encountered nothing but the thin air, which however was providing a supple, malleable support. Of course he immediately remembered, with perfect vividness, that first occasion of air-support, only now he did not even feel that he was being somehow sustained by his hands on an invisible substance of nothingness, but that his entire body, aside from his feet which rested their toes still on the kitchen floor, was buoyant as if in some dense (but textureless, undefinable at point of contact) medium. In this grotesque posture he re-mained very quietly, hardly breathing in order not to disturb the as-yet incomprehensible spell, order, metaphysics, biophysics ? the words came at him in a disorganized flurry ? and eyeing the table at an unusual angle, since his eyes were even with the level of the top of the table which he had been on the verge of disappearing below before he was stopped. Familiar objects appeared to loom up from that angle, the glass of milk which had come to rest on the table top as he had dropped below, rising like a white tower, a salt shaker like an orthodox church dome. He thought carefully about his pre-dicament, and again his first thought was to call Liana for corroboration. He was im-mensely excited to have found again this position as if time itself had been bent back on itself, in fact the thrill was so deep that he had the curious thought that he could easily give up sex just to enjoy this exquisite state, and he prayed briefly to God knows what God of Miracles to let him keep it, and then suddenly resolved, called out in as firm a voice as he could manage, which nonetheless trembled with excitement, Liana! Can you please bring your camera here! This was a stroke of genius which came to him as he opened his mouth, and he waited now breathless, or actually breathing in a long shallow breath as he had been taught to do for his taoist exercises ? and her bell-voice answered (at certain annunciatory moments all the women he loved appeared to have a chime-tone), what do you want it for, Augustus, in a wily knowing tone as if she guessed only too accurately what he wanted it for, and she appeared in the doorway in her (his) favourite black panties, her breasts, sweet, heavy, not large, slightly swaying, pink perfect nipples still erect, dangling the camera by its strap. Her teasing smile froze in startled panic as she peered at him, he was on the side of the table facing the door, the first mental pulsation suggesting "accident" at his bizarre angled suspension, the second suggesting disbelief and attempted refocussing. This time Augustus felt so secure in his overlall support that he raised one foot off the floor, now visibly bearing on the surface of the earth by the single point of the toes of his left foot. Liana, he said in a hushed, strained voice, take a picture. Liana looked at him dumbly, seeming not to understand. He very cautiously drew his left foot up off the floor: now he rested entirely in the air, solidly cushioned. Now, Liana, take a picture now! His tone was peremptory, even a little hard, as he tried to penetrate her mental self-protective shield, and the inhabitual hardness of tone obviously jolted her from the dreamlike state she appered to have fallen into, and she immediately aimed the camera and clicked. Augustus, she finally whispered, they were both speaking in very low tones as if they were fearful of upsetting a delicate and incomprehensible arrangement or of causing a "tilt" in the present as yet unclear balance of things?Augustus, what are you doing, how ? she came closer but not very close.. He watched her carefully, keeping eye-contact, and now raised his left foot off the floor slowly but securely. Now that he was entirely "air-born(e)" (the play of words was his in that moment, he felt he was coming into something unprecedented in his life), he realized that his first impression of two years ago had been mistaken or perhaps overly metaphorical: there was no sense of solid or substantial support underneath him at all, not even of the subtlest feather-touch. No, he was sensationally quite conscious of fresh air enveloping his limbs, swaddling them even, since a slight swell or body of air had eddied through the open door with Liana. She had now gotten down on her hands and knees next to him, her breasts swinging unprotected by the usual protective hand in her astonishment, peering at him and underneath him with such puzzlement that he burst into a stifled laugh. No, Liana, no tricks, I am ? levitating, I guess, he said after a moment's hesitation. I'm sitting on just air. She stretched out a hand and pressed lightly but insistently on his bare chest, perhaps expecting him to give, or even just to fall backward. Instead, tiring of the reclining position, Augustus straightened and got up without giving it a thought, and took two steps into the air. And stopped. He could not conceive of what he was doing. What might seem to be quite imaginable was not in reality because while clearly perceiving that there was no solid underfoot, indeed sensing the air practically hiss under his feet as he moved, nonetheless he could not conceive how he could be "mounting" the air so to speak with nothing to step on! He was now standing about two feet above the floor, looking down at the upturned, incredulous face of Liana. His groin was level with her face, and his cock sprang erect in front of her lips. Like a sleepwalker except for the still astonished expression, she brushed a silky brown lock way from her eyes and took his member into her mouth and sucked on it vigorously until he came in milky splashes, and as he came, his member still in her hand, he felt as if he had lost his balance, slipped on a banana peel, and dropped suddenly in a void and landed with a crash of his joints on the floor. He never forgot the look of sheer astonishment in her eyes and the wetness about her half open lips. She wiped them distractedly with the back of her hand and turned away as if not aware of what had just transpired, in fact it was as if the sexual act had taken place in a sort of parenthesis in real consciousness or as if her consciousness had simply refused to note the act of "levitation". He pulled himself no longer feeling anti-gravitational but heavier than normal as if all his bones were pressing down onto the floor. Nothing was broken in spite of the violence of the fall although his lower spine was achiing, and he followed her quickly into the kitchen, his member flapping wetly, to where she was sitting in her panties, still bare-breasted, at the kitchen table gazing at the camera in a daze. He unravelled the strap gently from her wrist, brushed her lips with his gingerly, and said, Liana, it's true, it did happen, I can't explain it but I've been aware of it since I was a boy. No, Augustus, she murmured finally, it didn't, it couldn't, and she shook her head vigorously. Well, he said, looking her in the eyes, trying the fix the floating gaze of her beautiful blue eyes, waving the camera, once we've developed this you'll see. She gazed at him blankly and he found her so irresistibly appealing in that raw state in the antiseptic kitchen that his member rose of its own accord, but she laughed in that unselfconscious way women have with their overwhelming superiority regarding these physical realities and gesturing banishment, got up with one hand in front of her undulating breasts and left. Augustus fondly watched the wiggle of her rear in the slight panties, and reluctantly went back to recover his clothes. The next days were more a breathless expectation punctuated by various domestic distractions as he waited for his film to be developed by the local drugstore. When he went to pick up the film, for one panic-stricken moment he could not find the receipt, but he got it and feverishly examined the photos: one boring photograph after another of their house, the garden, the cat, the dog, but no levitation! He stopped in his tracks in the middle of the sidewalk and studied the negatives with great apprehension. Yes, there was a negative which appeared to show him leaning backward. He hurried back to the drugstore with furious but relieved indignation, why! he practically collared the pudgy-mouse faced photo-manager, why wasn't this photo developed!! The manager looked past him with the faintest smile and said as if speaking to the customers behind him, store policy requires us not to develop any pornographic material. The blood drained out of Augustus' face, what! there's nothing porno ? and the manager witheringly interrupted him and put a finger on the negative, and what is that? It seems to be your penis. Augustus turned scarlet with the sense and shame that half a dozen persons were standing right behind him, and he heard titters and a snort, what! he said, there's no ? and he looked more closely at the figure in the negative to where the accusing finger ? and indeed he discerned a small vertical bar standing up at the crotch: it was his erect penis! But I didn't have ? he began to protest but realizing the ridiculous and untenable position he held he quickly beat a retreat. As soon as he got home he hurried to the kitchen where he found Liana preparing something or other, and he asked her, Liana did I have an erection the other evening when I called for you to come? Her skyblue eyes did not blink and she said nothing as if it not to dignify his statement, and when he pressed her she professed not to know what he was talking about. In fact she appeared to have entirely forgotten about the whole incident. Augustus gave up the idea of using the photograph in order to "prove" anything, because this untoward manifestation ob-viously distracted from the real interest of the photo. The affair with Liana dragged through the summer but the zing had gone out of it obviously, it was as if some mutual suspicion had arisen between them. He never broached the subject again.
This time he did not dismiss the event, but every once in a while would practice "sitting" unsupported. He would start from a reclining position on the floor, propping himself up on the heels of each hand, and lift first one hand, then attempt to lift the second but before he even began to do so he was convinced he would crumple onto his posterior and invariably he did, uncomfortably. In other words while sure of his previous experience he could not overcome the certainty of failure when actually engaged in the physical act. He was overwhelmed by the evidence of his own perceptions. He tried to counter this sense of impotence with a two-pronged approach: one, a steeling of his nerve, a total concentration, and two, a tensing of all his muscles and tendons, espcially of the legs and posterior, but to no avail. He was not obsessed with this exercize, but as weeks passed into months and then a year, he began to despair of ever getting it right again. In fact, he began almost to doubt again of having really done it, and would sneak a look at the undeveloped negative, but each time his attention was caught (or distracted) by his apparent erection. Well, he got on with his life in any case, travelling to Brussels, his city of origin, where he met a barely twenty-year-old, lavishly endowed Bruxelloise with large breasts and a hefty bottom, to whom he became quite attached, engaging in much poetic and mystical conversation with her, but never referring to his peculiar interest. She was however exceedingly jealous of her virginity, however much he pressed her, even though she was otherwise generous with her womanly attributes. She was quite ?Catholique? and in those days that still meant something. He became friendly with her family, of the petite noblesse, the father a man of dilettantish literary claims, and no doubt they saw in him a potentially promising son-in-law. One weekend he was invited to stay at their house in the country, perhaps with some parental cunning, and well after everybody had gone to bed, he could no longer bear the sheer ache of desire for her, and clad in his pajamas crept through the darkened corridor to her room. He found her sitting up in bed as if waiting for him in a large frilly white shift, and, heart pounding, proceeded to reach through the deep neckline to gather the soft breasts in both hands. His erection was undeniable. She was breathing deeply, clearly in a state of extreme excitement and near panic. Still, with a curiously contradictory self-control, she asked him, between passionate kisses, if his intentions were serious. Furiously frustrated and indignant, he sat down with his arms clutched to his sides, as if to detach himself from her. A huge erection poked up through the crotch of his pyjamas. The girl, out of her wits and nearly hysterical, lifted her frothy skirts and straddling him, sat down on the rigid member. She rose and fell on it, riding him like an Amazon, shaking her breasts like a mad woman, and he bit them and bit her neck and her arms around his neck, until he came in huge creamy swoops inside her, his groans mingling with her entreaties that he be quiet and not wake her family. She lay in his arms with him still inside her, and they exchanged kisses and sweet words and (on his part) false promises, and it was only when she finally began to pull off him and stood up and the wetness streamed between his thighs, not only sperm but as he found afterwards, the virginal blood, that he realized he had been sitting on nothing. To be more circumstantial: when she lifted off him (he slipping out of her), and he watched her hurry away to the bathroom clutching the shift between her thighs, he had remained in his sitting position and only then perceived that he was sitting on nothing, i.e., he was in a ?chair? position, legs vertical up to the knees, then horizontal knees to to hips on a right angle, and trunk vertical on another right angle, intersected by the still rigid member, as he reclined lazily ? but in no chair or sofa. There was none there. Apparently when he had sat down with arms pressed against his sides, he had settled on nothing in another of those anti-gravitational postures. He had begun to straighten out awkwardly from this sitting/non-sitting position, trying to figure out where to unbend first like a beach-chair, when she came running back into the room, loose shift floating open about her large breasts shimmering and shaking in the dark and her dark pubic triangle and flung herself onto his lap weeping and and pleading, will you marry me, will you marry me, you have taken my maidenhood (?ma viginite? she said), but he collapsed with her on top of him on the floor, he could feel her wet thighs about his belly, genitalia all crushed together.The racket was terrible, lights went on down the hall, and fearing a family confrontation and a shotgun engagement, he slipped out from under her, cowardly, and raced down the hall in the opposite direction as anxious parental voices rang out and he could still hear her weeping probably stretched out on the floor. The next morning breakfast was a stony-faced affair, he was ignored by her father and glared at by her mother, and Yolande turned an occasional piteous glance in his direction, and between a hastily downed cup of coffee and a mumbled goodbye and a peck on her cheek, he got across the threshold somehow and out into the fresh small rain of the Brussels day. What preoccupied him throughout that day however was not the family scandal (which would come),but an exhilaration with this third floating-on-air, for want of a better expression, event. Something to do with the clutching of his arms to his sides when he ?sat? down. And of course total unconsciousness, or unselfconsciousness ? of the act. So now he began practicing again, abruptly rigidifying arm and posterior muscles, thighs and basin locked in the 90 degree angles, and slumping down into a sitting position without premeditation, as if to catch himself unawares. And for an instant he would find himself sustained on nothing, before he fell again to the floor. It was, nonetheless, encouraging, even quite thrilling, if bruising. Of course that instant was so brief that it left room for some self-doubt in such a mystical affair. Later he heard from his mother that Yolande had left for Africa and returned with an infant shortly thereafter, which she, his mother, bitterly upbraided him for. However when he actually met the child, he discovered it was a delicious milk chocolate hue, so that if any blame could be laid at his threshhold, it was only in the most indirect moral sense.
4. "Unknown" and Suzanne
Nevertheless he was not able to attain a firm levitation again until a couple of years later. He had been invited with a group of Yolande?s friends to the house-warming of her new apartment in the bohemian quarter of old Brussels. The crisis was past, if emotions still raw, and Yolande still moony-eyed. Late that afternoon, he was hitchhiking back from Louvain, the Catholic university outside of Brussels, where he had been pursuing MA studies in international relations, and a car slowed down next to him. A rear window rolled down and a woman?s head poked out, she was of uncertain age, forty perhaps?, and she had a very low neckline. Embarrassed, he tried not to notice the deep cleavage of the white breasts lolling within, she had had the kindness of stopping for him after all! She asked, Where are you going, young man? He explained and she said to get in, the door swung open and he fell into the seat beside her. As the car took off again, the driver sitting alone in front, which he found odd ? the chauffeur perhaps? half turned, nodding, and they continued in silence. Immediately he felt her knee pressing insistently against his. She took his hand and put it inside her low neckline, and he touched the nakedness of her bra-less breasts. He dipped his hand in between them and cupped their full roundness, a thrill of desire surging in his gut. He placed his other hand on her thigh tentatively, and she slipped it between her legs and clutched it with them, and her mouth glued onto his, her tongue delving expertly inside his mouth. His cock sprang up, hard, and an expert hand unzipped his fly and drew it out. He glanced with some concern at the man in front, but the latter appeared oblivious of them. He pulled aside the folds of her skirt in order to caress her sex, but she blocked his hand firmly. Later, she said. They pulled up in front of an apartment building and she drew him out of the car still clutching his hand, as he tried awkwardly to shove his protruding penis back inside his fly. The man remained in the car, presumably to drive it into the garage.The apartment was brightly lit and luxurious, and as soon as they were inside and the door closed behind them, the woman, now appearing fully forty, heavily rouged and lip-sticked, pulled him against her, thighs spread, so that his hard member pressed against her yielding crotch. She smothered him with kisses, he pulled up her dress in another attempt to caress her pubic mound, which he succeeded in doing this time, and felt it wet between his fingers. He couldn?t say if she was pretty or not, the overwhelming impression was of a sexual predator, dark eyes glistening, sharp nose. Would you like me to make you some dinner, she asked with maternal solicitude. Augustus nodded, taking it all as it came and not even wondering at the absence of her companion. He sat on a white sofa and sipped at the martini she placed in his hand, his whole body quaking with excitement. He ate the huge dish of spaghetti she served him while she watched, and hardly tasted it, and drank a bottle of red wine with her. When he had finished, she led him by the hand in an alcoholic daze to a bedroom where the bedclothes were already pulled down, and wrapping her thighs about one of his legs proceeded to unbutton his shirt and pass her fingers through the hair on his chest and kiss his nipples, all of which he let her do in a dreamlike state, quite passively, hardly moving other than to caress her behind. Then she sat him on the bed, he could see all these movements in a filmlike doubling as a long mirror was situated in the wall behind her opposite the bed. He pulled her skirt up as she bent over to undo his belt and pants, and watched her black silk-clad bottom protrude in the mirror. Then she stood him up and pulled his pants down with his underpants, and his stiff member stuck up at an acute angle, and the next thing he knew he was lying on the bedsheet where she had pushed him, and she was straddling him, poised above his erect penis. His arms were clasped to his sides in an agony of expectation, and she held the crown in her fingers positioning it between her thighs when it happened: he rose up into her. But it was not just his crotch which rose, the hard member nestling within her spread labia, it was his entire body which floated upwards off the bed. His senses had been so focussed on her fingers and the tickle of her proximate pubic hair and the clasp of her thighs that he would have thought it an illusion if it had not been for the cool air running along his entire back and down his legs. He started coming in irresistible, slow, orgasmic bursts. He must have had his eyes tightly closed, because opening them now he saw her staring down at him with an expression of terror, and realized that her legs were stretched down on either side of his hips, while her arms were extended straight down, hands on his chest, apparently in an attempt to maintain her balance, which she lost as she started to tumble over to one side, the sperm flowing onto his crotch and thigh, and she let out a piercing scream, falling down to the bed now several feet below them. He turned over on one elbow and looked down at her astonished, the sperm dripping from his thigh. He heard a muffled shout and a sort of ruckus which seemed to come from behind the mirrored wall opposite the bed. She jumped up from the bed and ran from the bedroom, all her soft femaleness shaking, while he stepped down. He did not know how else to account for his movements, it was as if he let himself down gingerly from a ledge and stretched a leg as far down as he could to get a footing on the bed. Feeling guilty at having done something entirely out of order, and nervous about the couple?s reaction,he pulled on his clothes hastily, unable to find his socks, he pulled his shoes on to his bare feet, and hurried out of the bedroom, clutching his jacket. There was nobody in the livingroom to his relief, he let himself out the front door quietly, catching a glimpse of a pot-bellied middle-aged man in a white shirt and no pants, member dangling limply, glaring at him from within the doorway of another room next to the erstwhile scene of their exploits, and of course realized as he closed the door behind himself and took a deep breath in the cool air of the street, that the husband had been spying on them from behind the mirror. It had been a set-up! He burst into a giggle, and then as he half ran down the street, broke into uncontainable, almost hysterical, guffaws of delight.
It was still quite early and there was plenty of time to get to Yolande?s house-warming that evening. A group of her friends had agreed to meet at her family?s house in the country, and they would drive into Brussels. He needed to get a ride and he wanted to avoid going in Yolande?s car because their relationship was ? well, tricky and ambiguous. Already her brother, a pal, a would-be painter and a rogue, had surprised him b y taking him aside in a fit of familial responsibility, and told him he should be careful with his little sister. Augustus earnestly promised this was his own utmost desire. He was bubbling over with the excitement of the pick-up and hinted at it broadly with some of those present, while avoiding of courseYolande. He got a ride with a couple who were somewhat older than most of the group and whom he did not know very well. Suzanne was a red-haired, buxom, flashing-eyed woman in her early thirties, and her husband was a powerful block-like Fleming, he had seen them at parties and liked them both, they were liberal, somewhat intellectual, a well-matched goodlooking couple. He sat in front with them both in their wide convertible, and the conversation was animated in the summery evening. He said nothing about the levitation, sure that it would be met with amused mockery, and did not know whether his excitement was due more to the seduction engineered by the sinister couple that afternoon, or by his latest floatation. Squeezed in as he was, he couldn?t help being aware of her generous forms in the light summery dress, particularly her right thigh and breast which overflowed against him. She didn?t appear to be making any effort to pull away from him, and every bounce of the speeding car inflamed Augustus further, rendering him acutely embarrassed that they would notice the physiological effect it was having on him, and take offense. He glanced at her a couple of times, but she did not return his glance, in fact was engaged in a somewhat irritable exchange with her husband. Her warm thigh settled more firmly against his, and he reproached himself for harbouring any suspicion of intention on her part, and took advantage of their increasingly polemical exchange to furtively push the towering erection back down between his thighs. The couple?s exchange had developed into some obscure marital polemic and was growing quite shrill on her part. Abruptly the husband pulled up at the side of the road in a burst of temper, got out and walked away from the car into the field. Two or three of the other cars of the party pulled up behind them, Suzanne was derisive of her husband, and obviously everybody was a little embarrassed for them. She said she had to take a pee and headed for a grove of trees at the side of the road. The others milled about chatting, a couple walked after her husband, and Augustus found himself strolling toward the grove. He saw her squatting in the tall grass, engaged reflectively in her piss. He could see the thin stream sparkle from between her thighs, and instead of beating a hasty retreat, could not turn away his gaze. She looked up and saw him, he could feel a hot blush suffuse his face and neck, but she did not move to cover herself and only spread her knees wider. Augustus? heart was now pounding uncomfortably in his chest, he walked towards her automatically and without thinking, and she continued to pee. When he was just a few feet away she took something white in her hand and wiped herself, and he realized it was her panties. He came up to her as she arose, and she grabbed him to herself, crushing her breasts against him, he put his hand to her bare groin which was still, thrillingly, wet. She was as ardent and wild as a cat in heat, and fell on him bearing them both to the grass. She straddled him with both legs, her crotch hot against his bonehard penis, and in the painful position on the uneven, stubbly ground, he struggled to unzip his fly. In that moment he remembered the earlier episode, and stiffening his arms against his sides and clenching the muscles of his legs and belly and chest, he ? how can this first, wholly voluntary moment possibly be framed? ? became buoyant, his whole body light as a feather, rising inches off the ground, only inches, which he was able somehow to keep in hand, like only just breathing, minimally, tentatively. And all hell broke loose. Bellowing like a bull, the powerful Fleming came charging across the grass having now just caught sight of them, Suzanne jumped to her feet hastily stuffing her breasts back inside her blouse and buttoning it up, and Augustus stood his ground with his customary quixotic chivalry, determined to defend the lady?s honor. Suzanne pushed him away just as her husband took a first swing at him, and told him to scram, Augustus was screaming as well and hit out blindly at the other man, then took to his heels in a panic for the road, while Suzanne yelled back furiously at her husband. The others realized approximately what had transpired, and urged Augustus into one of the other cars, which he made some show of resisting at first, but when he saw the couple approaching from behind the trees, he jumped in and his new driver took off. By the time they arrived at Yolande?s new apartment, his pounding heart had calmed down and he assumed a man-of-the-world pose, but hurried into the building before the couple?s car parked, just aware of the furious expression on Suzanne?s husband?s face. There was much commotion at the apartment that evening, much back and forth along with much drinking and shouted threats, with Yolande trying to make peace, reproachfully admonishing Augustus to keep out of the way, and some reconciliation appearing to take place between the estranged couple. In the end they left in a close embrace, somewhat to Augustus?discomfiture. Needless to say, whenever he chanced to run across them again, he kept at a distance, and Suzanne never gave him another glance.
5. The American Berlitz Student
What had occurred was of momentous importance to Augustus?in fact it was a turning point in his life ? because for the first time he had controlled or actually produced this floating-state which had been the elusive substance of his life for years now. Taking this new physico-mental disposition as a basis, he began to practice levitation. That is, he would stiffen his entire body in a horizontal position and attempt to float. But was not able to do so, seemingly because lying on his back and then going rigid in an attempt to provoke flotation was too deliberate a preparation, somehow he had to do it without doing it, without deciding to do it, without pre-conceiving the act. Otherwise it just cancelled itself out because in effect, rationally, mentally, he knew it couldn?t be done ? he tried to convince himself while in such a position that it could be done, but the attempt to convince already undercut the disposition or ability to do so, it seemed. Recalling the suddenness and unpreparedness of the act with Suzanne, absolutely unrehearsed, he decided he would have to suddenly fall backwards, without thinking, on impulse, into a rigid posture. But that was extremely difficult, most painful the first time he first impulsively tried it, at the last moment in his fall he couldn?t prevent himself from breaking his posture in order at least not to strike his head against the floor, and came close to seriously spraining his back. After that he was simply too cowardly to go into free fall. And yet now he was quite sure this had actually happened. Augustus needed to get a job, since his wealthy parents had practically disowned him or at least had enjoined him to stay away from the family home, and had cut off his allowance ever since his wild affair with Liana after graduating from University. So he got a job teaching French at a Berlitz School. It was tedious work for a month or so until he was assigned a pretty blond American woman who must have been in her mid-thirties. She was glacial at their first introductory lesson, questioning him about his linguistic competence and experience, and he put on his best French accent in order to convince her he was bona fide. The method, it will be remembered, consisted in conversational sessions in which questions are asked by the teacher, which contain basically the vocabulary the student would need in order to answer the question. Teacher and student sat across from each other at a little table, a blackboard at the teacher?s back. Augustus started by the book, with standard phrases such as Avez-vous un crayon, Oui, j?ai un crayon, etc., but by the second lesson, bored to death and hoping to amuse his very severe student, he began to vary the questions absurdly, asking for example, Suis-je un crayon? Oui, je suis un crayon, but which gave rise to total incomprehension on the part of the student and only amused Augustus. In the midst of that second lesson, after ten or fifteen minutes, he felt her foot graze one of his, and he shifted his feet back a few inches and continued speaking. Then her foot brushed his a second time, and he glanced sharply at her, but she was concentrated on her book, expressionless. He drew his chair back with a slight scrape, and asked his absurdist question again. Then one of his feet was suddenly imprisoned by both of hers. He barely raised his head, and she stared straight ahead, repeating her answer in French. One of her shoes now caressed his ankle, and he brought himself to look straight into her eyes, which remained stonily expressionless. He ended the lesson a little earlier, looking at her questioningly, but she simply said something like, see you next Wednesday and left. He was perplexed, and wondered if she were not aware of her movements, in a kind of nervous concentration. Throughout the rest of the week and until next Wednesday, he took his tedious set of pupils, businessman, student, matron, in a state of general numbness until Wednesday came around again. This time he resolved to meet any advance with a clear-cut response. The American hardly addressed him civilly, and they got right down to the lessons. Nothing happened, and Augustus was beginning to think the whole thing had been illusory on his part, when suddenly he felt an ankle, then her calf, rubbing up and down on the inside of his left leg. He did not pull away and even moved a little closer, and both her legs clasped his leg now, rubbing in quasi-masturbatory spasms. He looked her in the eye and coughed trying to get her attention, but she glanced at him aloofly, and asked what was the matter? So he continued with the lesson in a fever of excitement and puzzlement, hardly able to keep his voice under control, and unable to deal with it. It would be superfluous to describe his efforts to exercise self-control in spite of the obvious physical effect on him, and to discharge the responsibility of his lesson. Her franctic activity stopped precisely with the end of the lesson, and she left quickly. He did not know how he got through the week until the following Wednesday, and when Wednesday arrived again, he was already in a fever of anticipation. He deliberately pushed his chair as close to the table edge as he could, and right on cue her legs and her knees became entangled in his, rubbing up and down with the same spasmodic movement. At such close quarters he became seriously provoked, and his penis rose in his pants. He began to revolve knees and thighs about hers as well in response, growing red in the face and almost unable to speak. At one point she looked at him and asked, are you feeling alright Mr. M., and he said yes, yes, of course and they continued their lesson. He became so nervous that he - lapsed now and then from his practiced French accent into his native New Yorker, apparently unnoticed by her in light of her own split focus. He felt such contraction in all his body, such an overwhelming thrill and frustration at the blatant contradiction be-tween her cold exterior and her nervous limbs, that the tip of his rigid member caught on ?fire?. Trying to control himself, clutching the table, his legs trembling, his lower trunk grew rigid and he began to rise: not to rise from his chair but to rise off his chair in the same sitting position until he was hovering uncertainly about six inches from the floor. The American was so absorbed in whatever she was doing that she did not even notice, perhaps thinking he was half standing, and of course in this position her feet were able to rise up and explore further between his thighs. When the lesson had ended he had somehow wet his pants, and when she rose to leave, he could not stand out of embarrassment. He did manage to croak out, Mrs. A., would you like to meet me at the Country Club up at Tervueren tomorrow afternoon? We could swim at the pool and have dinner afterwards. She glanced at him with cool surprise, I?m married, how could I possibly do that? Well, he continued lamely, in an attempt to cover his faux pas, your husband could come as well.. She didn?t deign to answer him and left. The following day, when he reported for his next lesson, the Berlitz director took him aside. Mr. M., he said, I?m afraid our School does not tolerate fraternising with the students. There has been a complaint. Collect your pay check at the office and please leave. The great success of this particular incident is that it gave Augustus a fresh and simplified method for levitation from the sitting position. It could be undertaken at a split second?s notice, without giving it a thought, just a quick clutching of the muscles and rigidity of the posterior and the legs and the arms ? it was like Zazen, he thought. He would sit down as if in a chair, go into this - quasi-cataleptic state of rigidity, and find himself suspended in air. And he could rise ever so slightly.
6. The Dance-Hall German Blondine. Gertrud
The relations between Augustus and his parents had only grown more strained over his dissipated way of life, his mother had gone so far as to say that he could have chosen some other city to live in than that of the family home, the implication being that the family reputation.. In a rash moment, in order to escape the repeated clashes with his parents, Augustus signed up for a stint in the Belgian version of officer training, which was actually shorter than regular military service... and which took him to Germany. During his brief and inglorious career there, during which he was reprimanded for saluting the Commandant of his training garrison in Aachen with a broom, and more seriously was retired from any strictly military duties after leading his small platoon of tanks in a circle during his first night exercises, so that they were lined up facing friendly forces (fortunately Belgium was not at war), only one incident of any significance occurred. Augustus had taken full advantage of the perks provided by Officer Training to spend his Saturday evenings down at the local tavern-cum-dance hall in the village where he was garrisoned near Aachen. He would drink with a couple of his trainee pals and observe the German couples who danced in the heavy German two-step to the impossibly syrupy German tunes of those times. His eye was caught in particular by a cute, plump little blond about 5?2? who regularly did the rounds with an older man wearing a dapper moustache, who looked like a tradesman and danced clumsily like one, but possessively. One evening he cut in, tapping the tradesman on the shoulder, and the plump blond danced stiffly in his arms at first, umppity boom boom, and then joined her companion. He watched her dance some more, and could tell that they both were glancing at him, and possibly talking about him. There seemed to be some disagreement, and before the dance ended, her partner abruptly left. Augustus naturally saw his opportunity, and continued all that evening to dance with the little blond who pulled in close for the schmalzy German dances, so that her thighs melted between his legs. From then on every Saturday he would go down to the tavern and find her there, always alone now. Perhaps it was the isolation of the military camp and loneliness, for Augustus spent hours with the blond and became infatuated with her, talking poetry and reciting Rilke, which she appeared to drink in thirstily. Then one Saturday evening she told him her friend was away on business and that he could come to their home later that night with her. They walked hand in hand after dancing along the snow-dusted road, palms sweaty, exuding sexual desire. Before he knew it he was in her bed fucking gloriously, she squealed like a cat under his thrusts and they heaved in orgasmic waves together. Augustus lay with his arm about the plump and delicious little body, contemplating spending a sweet night in her bed, when she jerked upright and said in a terrified voice, my god he?s back. Augustus jerked upright, rigid with panic, and said, I thought you said he would be away tonight! She said, get the devil out, he?ll kill you if he finds you here and me too! At that she rushed slipped on a gown and hurried downstairs, in order to delay him. Augustus pulled on underpants and socks and his lieutenant?s uniform in a panic and considerable disorder, and, boots dangling from one hand, pushed the window open and swung his legs over the edge of the window sill. There was a two-floor drop and he stared down at the snow-covered walk below apprehensively, shivering from the cold and clutching himself about the chest with both arms. Stiffening his resolve he eased off the sill but ? instead of the rush of air and painful thump he expected ? found himself drifting slowly down to the ground in the ?chair? position. Then he tore off down the road in his socks in a mad rush, expecting to hear shotgun explosions behind his back at any moment. Instead the house appeared to be perfectly quiet, the only noise came from the crunch of his feet in the fresh-fallen snow. For the next few weeeks, Augustus went every Saturday to the dance-hall, hoping to see Gertrud, but she did not make an appearance. He would listen to those sentimental um-pah um-pah songs and pine for her, and became despondent and desperate. Shortly before he was due to return to Brussels, he finally saw her again, briefly, alone, and asked her if everything was alright.,and she seemed distant, but said yes, and he said he was going back, and would she come with him. She seemed surprised, even shocked, and listened to him plead, and then told him life was a practical matter, and that it was impossible. He begged her to change her mind, told her he was in love with her, and for half an hour they argued, but she was adamant, kissed him and left. It was only a few months later, after Augustus got back to civilian life in Brussels and had forgotten about her, that he remembered the floating-downwards from the window sill and realized that that night in snowy Aachen levitation had actually permitted him, if semi-consciously, to float from point a to point b.
7. The Hamburg Radio Playwrite
Shortly after his honorable (god knows why) discharge from the army, Augustus had to return to Germany but this time to the north, to Hamburg, where the Hamburg Cultural Center had invited him to give a talk. After the talk the Director of the Institute, a middle-aged, gray-haired woman, invited him to join her and a friend for a drink and a chat. They went to a chic bar, and the Director introduced Augustus to her friend, a thirtyish blond woman who wrote radio-plays and was quite successful. This latter was vivacious, large-breasted and had long legs, and her lipstick was bright red. All three sat at a high, little, round table with three high stools about it. A desultory conversation started up with Augustus telling the two women about his beginnings as an artist, and asking the German blond about her radio-plays. All three drank heavily, Augustus out of relief that his talk was over and well received, and in the course of the conversation he tentatively nudged the blond?s leg with his, and to his delight she opened her knees and he pressed his leg between them. Throughout the hour they spent there, his and her legs were locked together. He pressed his knee as deeply between her open thighs as he could. He also reached occasionally under the little table and stroked the near thigh discreetly with his free hand while he drank. The blond smiled at him, and rubbed her stockinged legs up and down about his leg. He was determined to make his move. He had decided on a frontal assault, which was very unlike him as he was usually rather circumlocuitous. In fact he thought that the verbal distance and indirectness that he generally assumed were inversely proportional to the intensity of his desire. This evening however, alcohol assisting, he thought he could overcome his shyness. His leg, so to speak, was the herald of his lust. The cocktail hour dragged on and on, both of them obviously hoping to outwait the Director. Finally the latter, who seemed to have noticed nothing, said that she had to leave for home, and much to Augustus? chagrin, the blonde playwright also got up saying she would have to leave as well. They walked out together into the frosty air, and the Director said goodnight and walked down the street, while the blond went over to a small roadster parked in front of the bar. Augustus plunged right into this opening, and said, I don?t suppose you could give me a lift? Yes, of course, she said turning, and they got into the car, and he said in the most normal tone he could muster (this was his frontal approach) - I really want to fuck you. Nobody has ever said anything like that to me before, she said, either shocked or overcome, I don?t know what to say. Where do you want to go? Let?s go to your place, said he. She started the car and he put his hand on her thigh, feeling quite befuddled but exulted by his own daring, and off they went. In minutes they stopped at her building, he hopped out feeling invincible, and she said, why don?t you come up for a cup of coffee? Yes, he said, and they were in the elevator, and he took her mouth into his, and they were practically glued together on the way up. In the apartment which was very clear and had ?contemporary? pretensions with conceptual art on the walls, she said, I?ll go and make us some coffee, and he sat on the sofa. In the mood which he had inaugurated that evening, he thought to himself, I may as well go for broke, and he unzipped his pants and pulled out a huge erection. This was not Augustus? normal manner, note, he was quite formal in his ways, but that evening he sat there stroking his cock gently, giggling at the shock the sight of him would produce. He realized he was a little high, but certainly not drunk, not altogether. He had never perpetrated such a daring approach before and had always wanted to. The erotic pulsations he had shared with this wild, erotically compulsive woman were such that he felt himself carried on its wave. When she came back and found him with his cock sticking straight up out of his pants, she almost dropped the tray. There now occurred a movement which he had never known before and perhaps would never know again. She put the tray down and took him by the cock. He floated upwards from the sofa chair without standing, and moved in a blissful state of levitation with her across the long livingroom area in one single sweep, until she came up against the mantelpiece at the far wall and he against her. The smooth flow was so natural to him, but to her it must have been hallucinatory! He pulled up her skirt as they kissed and sucked and fumbled, and pulled her panties to one side and inserted his cock into her, and pumped wildly. They somehow ended up on the floor on a rug,her blouse half torn off, he sucked and rolled her breasts, and fucked her for what seemed like hours. Maybe it was the numbing effect of the alcohol, but they went on for so long ? first he on top, then she, then they rolled over onto their sides, then he was behind her ? that when he got back to Brussels he found himself with sores all over his sollen member, and was so worried he rushed to his doctor who after examining him burst out laughing. When Augustus, taken aback, asked him what it was, the doctor said it was suffering from over-use, that is from excessive friction. Whenever he thought about that affair afterwards, the one thing that stood out in his memory was the amazingly graceful rise and flow across the long livingroom in her hand, so to speak, the latest and most unexpected of his levitations.
8. The Rome Diplomat's Chilean Wife
A month later Augustus had to travel to Rome for work for a few days. Through a friend he had found a private home to stay at for a reasonable price, and the landlady was so kind as to say that she would pick him up at the station, as he did not know his way around Rome. He carried an attache case for identification, and a woman waved at him from a car shortly after he emerged from the station. He hurried over, and was pleased to see a pretty face framed in a cloud of wavy black hair of a woman perhaps in her late thirties or early forties, in the window. He sat in the passenger seat, picking up a heavy book from the seat. That?s what I?ve been reading, she said they are wonderful Japanese prints. He glanced at it, blushing absurdly when he realized it was a book of erotic prints, not knowing what to say. She did not seem to have noticed his disturbed reaction, thank god ? yes, it looks remarkable he said. He put it down and began small talk with her and learning that she was Chilean, spoke in Spanish, a language he knew well and enjoyed. She told him her husband was the Italian medical attache, concerned with health needs in emerging countries and so often away on mission. Augustus took the reference to her husband as a way of marking a distance, and kicked himself for being so gauche. Once they were in the small but comfortable flat and he had been shown his room, she said she would make him dinner that evening, since he had only just arrived and it was late. He cleaned up in the bathroom, extracting his stiffening penis from his underpants but keeping it under his pants of course, a tactic of self-encouragement and well as of self-advertisement which he often employed, just in case, while at the same time chastisting himself for being unjustifiably forward with a decent and hospitable woman. He found the large book on the sofa, and suddenly realizing it must have been planted there for a reason, began to leaf through it deliberately, trembling now like a hunting dog. I have always loved Utamaro, he said in an unsteady voice. She sat next to him, and bent over to look more closely, her lustrous dark hair falling near his face, and looked at the blatant portrayal of sexual intercourse he was contemplating. As if automaticaly and without forethought, he reached up and put a hand by her neck, turned towards her and in the same movement floated up and above her several inches into the air and coasted into her. Whether it was because she was so wholly open and in expectation of him or whether it was the perfect glide and aim of his entire body following behind the instantly released rigid member, he did not know, but he found himself effortlessly lodged deep within her and engaged in the most passionate ten minutes of love-making which concluded with their breathless and simultaneous orgasms. For the next few days together and two or three further bouts of love-making, this perfection was not reached again, on the contrary the thrill diminished steadily, there was no further levitation (which he could not turn on at will) and by the second evening, she was telling him how much she loved her husband but how cold he was and incapable of giving her sexual pleasure, and how all she really wanted in her life was to be a faithful loving wife, but was overcome by desire when he was away. They lay in bed together for hours, but it became less and less erotic and more intimate, as she spoke of her husband, obviously overcome with remorse. And she told him about her life in Chile and her family?s involvement with Allende whom they had supported fervently, and how her mother had talked to the Presidente on the day his government building was attacked, and they heard the gunshots over the telephone. She told about her family?s escape from Chile, as they were high on Pinochet?s black list. And finally she told him how with friends she had arranged for a grand piano to be air-lifted to the top of the Machu Pichu, where she read poems to music to celebrate the memory of the deceased poet, Pablo Neruda. She gave him a tape recording of that event which he kept preciously. Her story of the helicopter with the Grand Piano dangling beneath it tied with ropes was poetic and erotic to him, and it reminded him of his own levitation. He decided however not even to mention it to her, because it had been so slight (although deliberate!) that she probably had barely noticed it. What she certainly must have noticed was the extraordinary ease with which he had sailed into her vagina, but that she probably put down to the sometimes hallucinatory quality of erotic excitement.
The fiancee of the Roman general of Carabinieri
Augustus was beginning to get the hang of the levitation. He would practice for hours by himself, in the privacy of his own room, as he felt that any outside attention or curiosity would interfere with his concentration. He found that the easiest method was to ease himself backwards and down into the rigidity of the sitting posture. He also managed once or twice to fall straight backwards into a stiff horizontal position without hurting himself, and settle quite comfortably inches above the floor. He resolved to deal with it more fully on the next occasion. And that arrived soon enough, when he was invited to the home of a poet friend, nestled in groves of cypresses in the south of France in the foothills behind Nice. Upon arrival he was picked up by the group of friends at the station,and they drove off, a half dozen persons packed into his friend?s car. He was quick to sit beside a lovely young woman in a flowery dress and laughing grey eyes in the back seat, and since they were crushed together anyway, he lodged his right arm about her which brought hersoft and inviting left breast into intimate contact with his right chest. He was half in love with her before they got out of the car, gazing into her eyes, and when they all piled out at the house with laughter and shouts, he gallantly and absurdly picked her up in his arms and carried her into the house, to his friends? amusement. The evening was a gemutlich affair, half a dozen old friends drinking and dining together along with three or four women, spouses and friends, and he and the graceful ?Anino? or ?Little Donkey? as she was known affectionately by Augustus? friends, why, he did not know, got along famously in a tete-a tete. He learned that she was engaged to a Roman general and needed to be careful in front of the group, he took it as a challenge ? menacing, alluring and not a little ridiculous, given the reputation of the Italian military ? which he resolved to meet. She whispered to him to come to her room later, when everybody was asleep, so when she announced that she was off to bed, he pretended to be uninterested. Much later everybody drifted off to their respective rooms and Augustus to his. He tried to wait patiently but was in his usual fever of anticipation. Finally after about forty minutes, dressed in his pajamas, he tip-toed down the corridor past other bedrooms, hearing the wheeze of sleep of some, and from one room much thumping and little whimpers in which he recognized the voice of the biggest and most macho of his male friends, which came to a crescendo within about thirty seconds and an obviously premature conclusion before he arrived at the end of the corridor, much to his amusement. The house was again blanketed in complete silence, and he knocked softly at the door of Anino. He heard a soft little answer, and pushed the door open in almost complete darkness and tip-toed towards a pale shape which he supposed to be the bed.Vibrant with tension, he reached out his hands and they encountered the woman?s soft breasts in the filmiest of gowns. She pulled him to herself in a melting embrace, his hands ran all over her breasts and kneaded her nipples, his cock popped straight out of the open fly of his pyjamas, and then with hands clasped on either side of her bottom, he settled back into a sitting position, body taut as the string of a bow, and pulled her onto his lap, the gown crushed up above her squirming thighs which settled about his hips. As he leaned back, his rigid member slipped between her bare thighs and into her with consummate ease, and she heaved back and forth on it, groaning with him. He rocked with slight upward movements, pulling his member up into her with each swing, and they floated out in a state of angelic bliss. Only the side of the bed got in the way of his feet, so in harmony with their oscillatory motion, he willed himself up and away from the bed, and they floated upwards with the rocking of their bodies toward the ceiling, and settled there in mid-air. He could not distinguish between the exquisite delight of their self-abandonment and his exhilaration at discovering the full mastery of levitation. She gave no sign of realizing what was happening, carried away by their mutual passion. When they both began to come together spasmodically and wildly, and she cried out in spite of her self-imposed discretion, he allowed them to drift down slowly until he was lying back on the bed with her on top of him. They lay together and exchanged sweet kisses and made promises (never kept) to meet again, and she told him, quite unwittingly, that it had been like making love in the clouds.
The Lacanian Psychiatrist
Augustus now knew that he could do it at will. He had two or three different techniques for going into levitation: the sitting position, the surest. For he could not levitate at the drop of a hat. He would not always succeed in rising up into the air, but he became more comfortable at ?subsiding? into that rigid (but also relaxed) posture, which was already a form of levitation, without fearing collapse. It took a sort of unconscious consciousness. The latent ability was there but it was not subject to a rational (it was not rational at all!), deliberate decision, but was more instinctive, perhaps intuitive, knowing and not-knowing that he was ? now ? about to float. The most delightful sensation of buoyancy would take over a moment before actually levitating. He would only practice in his room with the door closed, because he did not want to be caught several feet off the floor. It was out of discretion, and perhaps apprehensiveness at confronting somebody else?s ?rational? disbelief. He did go so far one day as to try it again from the window sill, and after achieving the delicious release he could have been seen floating a foot outside his window three floors above the street. It was a heady experience. The final test of what he expected would be a lifelong pursuit came with his encounter with the Lacanian psychiatrist. She was a somewhat homely woman, about three or four years older than him, brown hair falling about an unmemorable face; but worse, she was dry, whether dry of personality or dry physiologically, he was not sure ? and certainly not one of Augustus? more seductive affairs. However she was incomparably lascivious and obscene, and he could not free himself of her predatory embrace.They fucked all the time, anywhere, in the toilets of public places, in parks, and the last time on a beach with his sister for company. This latter circumstance was accidental, his sister had insisted on accompanying them to the beach in the hot evening, he had tried to dissuade her, to no avail. They brought their blankets to sit on, and as the evening wore on, spread them out and lay down, each on his or her blanket. As the night grew darker, inevitably the psychiatrist?s hand crept under the blanket to his sex, and just as inevitably he worked his way under her blanket and pulled down her panties as discreetly as possible under this make-shift tent, doing his utmost to avoid drawing his younger sister?s attention, for he had always felt a protective responsibility toward her whom he believed, quite unwarranted, to be innocent and virginal. The psychiatrist mounted him, her favourite, dominant position, and he was pinned under her thighs with her dry and artificially lubricated vagina thrust onto his as usual stiff member. He pumped away lustily, and she twisted frantically on the end of his vertical member, unable to stifle her sighs. He heard his sister stir, and apprehensive that he might corrupt her morals, entangled as he and his girl friend were in the blankets, he contracted all the muscles of his body, going quite rigid, and began to rise rapidly into the air. This time however it was not a few feet but some fifty feet straight up into the moonless night. As they rose, the psychiatrist appeared to be having an orgasm, and she torn the blanket off them both gasping for air. As she did she almost fell off him, and let out a piercing shriek. She became almost incoherent, but the tenor of her remarks was as follows: what are you doing, you fucking idiot! This is paranoid psychosis, fantasies of flying! an introversion of religious transcendence through frustrated sexual desire, you?re crazy!! you can?t do this, you confuse representation and id, take me down, she wailed, and all the while she was pummeling his chest quite painfully, although his member was still lodged inside her vagina. She seemed to be writhing in order to detach her sex from his, but since her feet were now hanging in thin air, she could get no support to push against. As to Augustus, as she went on hitting him and even scratching his chest and shrilling ever more recondite Lacanian language about his confusion of the symbolic and the imaginary and reality, you have understood nothing of the role of language vis - ? - vis the unconscious! All her twisting and tightening and heaving on his groin brought him to irrepressible and drawn-out spasms of release which soaked them both. Below he could hear his litle sister?s calling out asking where are you, what is happening, and the psychiatrist by now had become quite hysterical and incoherent, begging him to get it over with, to forgive her, to take her home, to fuck her, to punish her, to take her to her daddy, and he, holding his arms up to ward off her blows, her fingernails flailing in the dark, half sat up and pulled her back from him by the hair. He could feel the blood from her scratches slipping down his cheeks, and as she lay back now sobbing, his penis slipped out of her limply, and they plummeted downwards quickly, coming to a soft bouncy stop just before reaching the ground some twenty feet from their original position. She jumped off cursing him and the whole fucking male race, and ran in the direction of his sister, quite naked except for her bra, grabbing up scattered clothing she had left there just before their levitation, and ran off in the direction of the road. He never saw her again but guessed she was probably quickly picked up at the roadside as a hitchhiker. He did get an acrimonious letter from her in which no allusion was made to the levitation itself but just to his erotic fantasms and his urgent need for analysis, which she did not however offer to provide. As to his little sister, she had not the slightest suspicion of what had transpired, although of course she could not help but notice that the psychiatrist was in considerable disarray, both psychological and physical, as the she shot past her shrieking your brother?s a fucking religious madman, he thinks he incarnates desire! Augustus for his part was satisfied that the thing had proceeded according to plan, and resolved to apply himself to the mystical technique for the rest of his life.