Now, Anatole did not make pornographic movies. Far from it. Anatole was a man of considerable means and experience, a man living out the consequences of knowing that a life was only lived once as few do.
This adventure was to be one more of his embraces of Life (a word he always said a little loudly) in all its complexity and at its most ambiguous aesthetic and moral edges. Of these exploits he sometimes made films.
This one was to be a documentary, like his others, but more personal, to say the least. It could and would not be sold to PBS or the BBC, of course, who typically made him edit away much of what he found interesting anyway. ("But Life is neither clean nor simple," he would growl. "We can't show a Mondo Cane," they would reply.) Luckily, Anatole never needed the money. In fact his films lost money. From the moment he thought of this one, "The Mission," early one Monday morning, he knew it had to be done.
The whole issue of beauty's relationship to sexuality simply had to be dealt with freshly. Besides, since he was very young he had found himself fascinated with older women--women over 30, even 40--and their fuller, character bodies and their folds and quivers. He looked for clues to their carnal experience in the way they moved, overall and in parts, and for what he imagined to be the knowing pain in their eyes, desiring someone, someone.
Was he the only man with this fascination? He guessed not. He guessed that most men ended up simply followed the safest norm, professing desire for the averaged- out, slightly masculine, sporting female, the pert, unthreatening buddy woman of childhood, while secretly lusting for the adult and excessive: breasts, thighs, lips, the depths, the roiling... Where else could fleshly oblivion be found? Where else submergence in Life?
Anatole and his confidant, Ted--Theodore--sat inside but at the wide open sliding doors to Anatole's terrace. It was a cool April afternoon. Jubie was making hot tea for all three of them. She looked over. Most people found Anatole and Theodore an odd couple. Anatole, outgoing, muscular, hirsute, and always well dressed, was a dreamer with an iron will and smiling eyes.
Women adored him, and he adored them. Ted was a tall, loose limbed, younger man, always serious, extremely clean. He was a Ph.D. in anthropology, which not many people knew, and he was enormously well hung, which everyone seemed to know. The idea developed as they sipped.
If this were to be a film that others would enjoy-- indeed learn from (for Anatole was nothing if not a constant proselytizer and educator) -- "ugly" would have to be defined. "Old" was out. Old was unfair, and too easy. Besides, who wanted to make love to a hag, and who wanted to witness it?
And what if she were once beautiful and the sport of it all broke her heart? No, old was out; and so the woman had to be young: not a girl, but a woman, say under fifty and over twenty five years old.
Deformed was out. No dwarfs, cripples, or accident victims. But very skinny was OK (Anatole's heart sank) as were to be: really fat, bad skin, dirty, hairy, disproportionate...they went through the list.
After a while, Anatole said: "You know, 'ugly' really isn't the right word," and stood up. He seemed discouraged by the pictures of the women the list had summoned up.
"Yeah," said Ted, "you're right. Besides, your 'ugly' and my 'ugly' are different. I mean, ugly--the kind of ugly we mean--is more like facing the repulsive and erotically fascinating at the same time. Like, for me, that would be fondling my high school science teacher, "Rosebud," whose thighs met just above her knees, you know, and her taut stockings ending only an inch further up, with her thigh flesh bursting out of the tops with little blue veins. For a girl, might be letting that disgusting kid in the dirty T-shirt in biology put his head up her skirt and slurp on her."
Jubie looked aside. "Ugly isn't always," he paused, "bad, it's just too much, too particular, too real. Did you know that the Yohingi have no concept of sexual beauty that matches ours. Their men prize roundness, particularly at the waist, and scars..." He went on; and then they were quiet for a while. Some birds flew by.
"Theodore," Anatole said finally, "we have to go where the action is." Then he sat down again. "The ugliest women in the world are Russian, are they not?" No reply. "So I think we are going to have to go to Russia and see." "Russia?" said Jubie. She had said nothing all along. Now her mind filled with images of onion domes and samovars. Would all the men be Boris?
"Russia?" said Ted. He got up and stretched. He tried to act bored. "Russia's too big, Anatole," he said, and looking out at the hills. "How about Bulgaria?"
So here they were, mid-October, in their fifth day of touring and Anatole was still looking. They didn't even consider any other country after Ted had first said "Bulgaria." The name said all, promised all. They were in two cars; Anatole, Ted and Jubie in the first, a Passat, and Marsha, Douglas, Red, and the equipment in the second, a VW bus of uncertain vintage.
Through towns and villages they drove -- such sad, grey places -- looking out of the windows for a 'perfect' place and for Anatole's 'perfect' woman. Red (who was black, and who had received constant stares since they landed in Plovdiv) and Doug and Marsha each had Cokes. These they nursed for hours as the potholes knocked the gas out of them. Doug had already shot sixteen rolls of stills, in case they needed to "refer back." Marsha was doubtful about the morality of it all. It was too much like abduction, too calculated. But her role was lighting and she tried to concentrate on the artistic problems she would encounter lighting a large woman, in inelegant positions, to best advantage.
For it was clear to his band that Anatole was looking for a fat woman-- someone enormous, profoundly enormous, with big fat feet and big fat hands and a mustache. Or something. Of course, that was not the way Anatole described Her. He was both cruder and more poetic. "A woman made of earth and horse and cow, a woman of solid grace, a woman in whose folds three men could hide..." and so on, and on. This was supposed to make their eyes keener.
The grey landscape of ploughed fields and dark, wet farmhouses rocked by endlessly. Ordinary, ordinary people watched them go by, some stopping their bicycles until they were far gone.
There was one woman who had come close, one evening back in Plovdiv, on their second day. They had all gone down to the--Pinnin, was it?--bar and cabaret in the semi-basement of a nondescript building three streets back from the main square. The bar was as warm, dry, and light as the streets were cold, dark, and wet.
It made them feel that the deprivation and scarcity they had steadily witnessed on the streets of Plovdiv was intended, intended precisely in order to cram everything convivial, loud, and plentiful down here, or at least in places like it. Smoke hung in the air so thickly that after a minute Ted said he wanted to leave, and did, taking Jubie with him. Jubie always did what Ted did or suggested. She loved him. Or his thing.
The rest of them found a Formica table near the stage.
Before they could make themselves comfortable the lights went on and out into the light stepped what had to be Anatole's woman! She wasn't all that large: large enough to hide two men, maybe. Her large feet dove into a pair of very small high heels of red sequins, pitching her body forward, a motion she constantly resisted by pulling her shoulders back and kicking her enormous bottom out in the process. She wore blue stockings and a rather simple black negligee with far too many tassels, tassels she must have sewn on herself. Catcalls filled the room.
"Zsa, Zsa! Zsa, Zsa!" The satin surely suited her handsomely, thought Anatole, gliding over her bulges with great serenity. It gave to each of her surfacing, multitudinous curves a sheeny line, and to those curves it missed a bevy of gratuitous folds, like a skin. Tassels hung under her belly; tassels swung at her hem. Her waist was rather small, comparatively speaking.
In short, she was beautiful; and Anatole felt somehow both innervated and discouraged: He could not see her as anything other than quite beautiful, and had he not resolved to transgress into the zone of repulsion? Was he that far gone? Doug's camera whined and chirruped a few times. Professionally.
Music was provided by a two-piece band, Anatole only now noticed: a guitarist and a drummer. Both were boys- -Adam's apples well behind their buttoned collars--and both had goatees. Maybe they were brothers. They looked into the audience like mournful twins as Zsa Zsa minced quite shyly up to the microphone. Her black hair was already tousled with her warmth and dampness. Her eyelashes cast great shadows on her full, rouged cheeks. He lips were painted, pointed as a heart.
She noticed the American group immediately and said, ignoring Marsha, "Gentlemen, gentlemen, welcome to my Plovdiv," and raised her negligee to show off a large, blue, inner thigh. Before she dropped it, laughing, she flashed some creamy thigh-top--it seemed--only to Anatole. Marsha was ordering drinks. Red was beginning to tap his match box on the table and nod, as he always did when he started having fun. His lips were mouthing "big ole Mama" or something like it as the band began their rendition of Cabaret "Guten avend mein damen und heren..."
Zsa Zsa sang the number rather well, in German, then French, Croatian, English, and Bulgarian. She kneeled and twisted and bent over. She hoisted her negligee. She licked her fingers. Her waist was remarkably flexible as she swiveled and sauntered back and forth. Deaf to the calls of drunken Bulgarians, she wondered: who was this group? Movie makers?
The thought of this made Zsa Zsa unsteady a few times, and she staggered. This made her seem vulnerable, which she was, indeed. She identified the older, richer- looking one, staring at her so intensely and possessively. Certainly the producer! For him she would make a special effort. Pyotr would have to wait tonight.
By eleven o'clock no one was left in the Pinnin that wasn't American but Zsa Zsa, the bartender, and the waiter. These people work hard, thought Anatole. Or perhaps there was a curfew. Zsa Zsa had taken two breaks, sung and sashayed for three sets, and drunk about five glasses of wine: three while she was singing, and two at their table, and now a third.
Her earlier directness had gone. She seemed tired, and quite innocently, she let her head fall against Anatole's shoulder. Red and Marsha took what they took to be a hint from Anatole and left. Douglas retreated into the darkness at the back of the room.
"Zsa Zsa, beautiful Zsa Zsa," crooned Anatole, "poor, tired Zsa Zsa. You danced so beautifully." "You are beautiful, my Anatole," she said blurredly, patting his head without looking up.
"You know," he continued after a long pause, "you could be in the movies."
At this Zsa Zsa stiffened. "Oh no! I am so..."
"Beautiful...big and beautiful."
Tears welled up in her eyes. This was a wonderful man, and from America! He could see her true shape; he could feel the exquisite body inside her. Pyotr treated he like a sack of flour, like a loaf of dough. But would Anatole just abuse her, like Denis did in Paris, mesmerized by her folds, putting things into them like spoons and buttons and pens, and poking her intimate openings with vile plastic penises while his own was so small he couldn't even get the tip of it past her flesh to her true, inner lips? At least Pyotr knew what to do, crude and stupid as he was.
For his part, Anatole didn't quite know how to proceed. He had started something he now half wanted to stop. Zsa Zsa was too real. She affected him. His penis was stirring and, doubled up in his underwear, it was becoming uncomfortable. He had drunk too much. He heard Doug's camera go off a few times. Now she was slumping over, tearful still, and smiling. The bartender, a short man in black and white, looked over at them darkly.
Pyotr would get wind of this.
"Zsa Zsa, let me take you home. Where do you live?" Anatole said quietly, and waved Doug to take off. Doug wanted to record it all but Anatole shook his head firmly.
"15 Prjensta," she said, "on the fifth floor." Her eyes were green and glistening. Her eyelashes were her own, he noted: on stage they looked false. He would take her home. Maybe give her a kiss.
Outside, the night air was damp, not yet truly cold. The street was deserted and the "fifth floor" seemed far away. A handful of streetlights shone through the mist, shining, he thought, no less sweetly than they did in Paris or Sofia. (Jeanine? gone; Odett? gone. Their faces faded.) Anatole and Zsa Zsa had just started to walk, arm in arm, away from the square when a carriage clopped up, as if out of nowhere, and stopped, horses snorting. The bartender must have called it! Without a word or a look at him, Zsa Zsa stepped in to the cab.
She moved with extraordinary grace, he thought, momentarily showing him her rounded, churning bottom. An essay in darkness! He watched her high heels, first her left, then her right, stamp firmly onto the carriage steps, each with a slight tremor of the ankle. This tremor thrilled him unaccountably.
He followed her in with his heart racing.
No sooner had he closed the thin door behind them than he was smitten by her perfume, her presence, and her warmth filling the cabin. She smelled not like a woman who had worked hard all night, but like talcum, myrrh, rose, toast, wool, wine. The seat was of tufted leather, worn soft. He could not sit back, but instead gazed over at her smiling mass. She reclined comfortably, as though finally at home, looking out of the window, playing with her lapel, her hair wispy at her neck.
The carriage's jerk as it started off perturbed her not at all. As the little cabin began rocking, he took off his coat. He reached for her wrap and gently pulled it away. Time began to slow. Parallelograms of light drifted over her satin clad body, gently rolling and rocking, rolling and rocking...and as his head descended as if of its own accord towards the intersection of her thighs, it occurred to him that he never saw a carriage driver.
"Anat..." Zsa Zsa murmured, lifting and parting her heavy legs. Her breath was heavy now, as was his, close about his head. As he sank, the heat and fragrance of her innerness was almost more than he could bear.
He could not push on through that darkness! It was an approaching maelstrom, a place in the from which he could not return unchanged. The Origin. And yet he was also acutely aware, intellectually, that this was where he wanted to be, precisely, in the midst of throbbing Life and at the edges of dulling convention, no place, every place. It could not be filmed.
He pulled up and gained some control of himself.
"Anatole, cheri," she cried, with mild rebuke or disappointment (he couldn't tell which) and stretched her arms towards him.
Now he would drink her totality up with his eyes, yes! He wanted to see her naked, to make of her an object, an impossible object, an impossible, improbable and yet familiar creature/object/woman, large and cool and naked, bearing within it/her belly the dark, fragrant furnace of life, naked and soft, a cradle cradled against the rocking leather of this impossible carriage in this improbable city, city of hooves and sad walls, far from everyone he knew.
She seemed to know what he was thinking, for seemingly within moments, and without a trace of awkwardness, Zsa Zsa was naked, wearing only her red, high-heeled shoes. Her skin was alabaster and unmarked. Her flesh was banded by the shadows moving across it like a fast moving cloud, and between these liquid moments it glowed dully in misty overflow of light.
Her tender flesh shook and trembled and rocked with the horses' rhythms and the carriage's springs. Her breasts were large and lay low together. Her stomach was in dolphin rolls. No Michelangelo could follow the subtlety of curvature of her mounds, the way they turned into each other and wrung each other out; no designer could discern the thousand radii that blended her creamy vortexes into their dance with gravity.
Then, slowly, with her long red nails (had he seen those before?) she reached down between her legs and began parting the way to her pussy. His eyes flew between her fingertips and the sullen, trembling thighs that towered to either side of them. Her labia had labia. Her lips had lips. They smacked and plipped as she parted them and stirred them until she reached the great dark, the inner curtains, the tassels... This called for a penis the size of a horse's head and as hard, as red as a beaten pig and as voracious!
Anatole felt his own dick reaching these proportions, and knew that if he looked down, surely, he would bring forth from his trousers an instrument, an animal, that would beggar the drawings of the Chinese masters in ugliness. "Anatole," Zsa Zsa crooned, heaving her hips upward, "make love to me! Soon we are home." She still did not look at him, but now, through half lidded eyes, she sought his crotch, hidden in the moving dark. Her mouth seemed dry.
Yes, he would make love to her! But this occurred to him: he wanted to stay dressed. He wanted her to feel his clothes all over the expanse of her cool body, here rough, here smooth, here his belt, here his lapel. Her nakedness would be doubled. Also, he wanted his penis, by itself, to equal her body in fleshly power, in lonesome magnitude, he: the puppeteer in black -- the mind, the eyes that saw all -- she: the moonlit barge, receiving, carrying, transporting. He would sink his dick--his dick! -- deep into this large, voluptuous, woman and make her fuller still. Again and again, helping after helping. His dick would be the food she so craved and that she made herself fat for with substitutes.
Ha, no substitutes now, lucky Zsa Zsa. The horses must have broken into a trot, because the carriage shook and rocked faster, more roughly. City scenery had disappeared on one side, replaced by darkness and an occasional passing tree. Perhaps they were going around and around a park, or along the ocean.
Ah, she would ripple with his pounding like a sail in a strong wind or a blanket being shaken out, he thought as he pulled her weight down onto the full length of the upholstered seat. She barely fit and so turned a fraction to place her back deeper into the corner. Still wearing her heels, she raised her heavy, fat- pleated right leg high into the air, resting it slightly against the seat back, and pulled her equally heavy, fat-pleated left leg up until she could press her feet against the front of the cab.
Her constant shaking seemed to vanish as she did this, and he watched: neutralized, the quivering and jostling had become part of the original nature of her body and only the heavy, fluid motions of her legs and churning of her hips remained. Her head was turned away as she bit her curled second finger, waiting. With her long eyelashes he looked like a baby. Then, with her right hand she parted her outer, fatty labia again.
Anatole rose up looking down. The roof of the cab was twenty feet high, so large did he feel, so expansive, like a god/genie/ogre out of a bottle looking down at the good earth with the smell of rutting animals and approaching storms. He reached into his pants and wrestled out a penis he hardly recognized. Still turgid and fairly soft, it was nonetheless as large as his normal erection. It smelled like goat. What would it turn into yet?
He began to twist and turn it, sending waves of pleasure up his spine. Soon, he thought, soon. He looked at her gaping deep pussy now fairly rotating with desire, her large buttocks beneath it raising it into the air, far from the leather hills. Then, like a fighter plane shot out of control he dove his head down until his mouth and lips crashed into her fleshy pit!
It filled his mouth, it rose up to the bridge of his nose and back to the point of his chin. It lapped at his cheeks. Her legs came together around his head softly, heavily, as he extended his tongue indefinitely into her, spiraling, sniffing, like dog in a tunnel. He reach around her thighs with both arms. Their girth and substance, now a matter of touch and resistance, thrilled him to the souls of his feet, making them hurt. Her fat flesh was so resilient and firm that she seemed made of four women and put into the body of two.
Running out of breath, he lifted his face from her now wet and broken-open pussy. He could not see her stomach or breasts or face behind the mountain of oscillating flesh immediately above and around: only her sundered, asymmetrical pussy-lips and the hint of immense darkness pearled within them. Rooms within rooms. Her perfume now was strong and clung to his face. With every breath of it he grew dizzier: cut grass, fig conserves, cardamom, oak, oysters, lemon, cognac. Her breathing was loud now, filling the cabin. She had been repeating, "Ana, ana, ana..." seemingly forever. The driver, could he hear?
Now he licked her with full, flat, muscular tongue, probing and twirling, sucking and biting and twisting the infinite lips of Zsa Zsa's meaty Bulgarian pussy. His beard and her pubic hair mingled, and between her squirming and pumping air and his mumbling slurps, it became uncertain as to which side of the heaving union was mouth and which pussy. Beneath the variations, a deep and syncopated rhythm was being set that could not be stopped.
With his left and right hands, Anatole spread her lips apart wider and looked. Her enlarged vagina careened in like a whirlpool of redness, a trumpet of vacuum, swathed, curtained, velvet, sweat-walled, thundering. He rolled his tongue in, and then a finger which he arced upward to trace the inner upper wall of her vagina, this as he massaged the outside of that same spot with his lips and tongue--her clitoris, rubbery and elongated. She began to wail.
Now, gently but firmly, he parted her legs fully and placed them back where they were. His penis was in full swell. Her wails subsided to whimpers.
Once again Anatole rose up and looked down. But this time it was by his own instrument that he was mesmerized. Was it someone else's? Ted's, but darker, veinier, more twitchy and alive? For truly, it twitched incessantly as though straining at some bit. And it was ugly. Zsa Zsa pulled her head forward, anticipating the next action. She let out a quaver of alarm at the sight of Anatole's dick and began both to massage her ample breasts in both hands and rhythmically to piston her wide soft hips and spread-eagled legs in the empty air, as though riding a horse lying down. If she could have urged the real horses faster this way she would have, but she had to let the carriage's rocking simply amplify hers.
And so, head bobbing and weaving, Zsa Zsa watched Anatole's throbbing penis swiftly advance. Anatole buried it into her inch by inch. And at every inch Zsa Zsa convulsed. She had stopped thinking about home, about the club, about Pyotr, but not, she realized about Pyotr's dick which now doubled itself onto Anatole's as it burst through curtain after curtain of her secret tunnel. Anatole felt that he would explode immediately, so hot, so rippling, so overwhelmingly coordinated was everything that filled his eyes and ears and nose and skin. Saliva and vaginal juice still wet his beard.
But he held on. He would not fuck like this--he would not fuck a woman like this--ever again. He had to hold on, he had to think of her; and with a resolve that came from somewhere else, he pulled himself together again, lowered his pants for more room, and began a simple long stroking rhythm of his penis in and out of her. He increased his speed.
Things had become classical, simple now. They were in the open. Rhythm was king. His stomach against the underside of her belly made loud slapping sounds. Her pussy was fully engulfing. She began to yelp and yelp, her face contorted. She held on to the sides of the cabin now for stability. He was thundering into her, Thor, Odin, every blow sending a wave up to her head to meet a wave coming back down, her breast swinging wildly and independently as though roped and screaming for help.
For her the world was crumbling apart from the battering, for him it was gathering itself up with every stroke... When her orgasm finally arrived she curled up with the strength of two men and grabbed him down, mashing his face into her chest and neck, sobbing uncontrollably into his left ear and right as she showered him with kisses, and he, in turn, hugged her huge, quaking frame as though it were a bed stuffed with flowers. Then quiet descended. The carriage was still. Anatole sat up. He had not come. His penis was still engorged, ready for more, pulsing. He sat and watched it, unable to move. She lay quietly too, with her wrap now over her breasts.
Then, from nowhere, in compete silence, as from a superheated flask in his groin that had found a leak, his sperm rushed up the length of his shaft, scraping and dragging everything inside him up with it, and began to bubble from the top, overflowing and running down the sides of his purple shaft. Wave after wave, it came. He let it go and it started rocking back and forth, jerking as though shot, slinging sperm all over, not subsiding but building in intensity, running amok.
Impossibly, Zsa Zsa appeared before him, facing away, and taking the wild beast into her hand, lowered her enormous bottom onto it. It was so tight, and so hot, and she descended so slowly, that he knew she had taken it in her ass. Still pulsing he spread her heavy ass cheeks roughly so that he could see his stiff dark penis between her liquid globes and so that it would sink in further... In two, massively slow strokes up and then down again, he was finished, body limp, close to dead.
She never allowed her full weight to bear on him, to the end. When she finally lifted up from him--her buttock skin pulling across his, his penis dragging itself backward and out as though it were taking off a tight sweater -- and as she felt relief from his pressure, the pain melting, her thigh muscles aching, shaking, Zsa Zsa sat down heavily next to him and whispered, "Cheri, I am home. But I don't know whether I can climb the stairs now," and she began to laugh, and laugh, like a little girl. "Do you really think I can be in the movies?" He would help her up to the fifth floor. He would carry her up, step by step! He would adore every pound of her! Or rather, kilo.
"It can't be filmed," Ted said as they drove into the square of yet another and nameless Bulgarian village. Jubie was at the wheel, Anatole in the rear seat. "It reads well but it can't be filmed."
He put down the papers. The word was always stronger than the photographed image; they all knew that, and certainly Anatole here had created a tour de force of repulsive erotic delirium. Anatole's right eye was still swollen from where Pyotr had hit him at the Pinnin, just as he stepped out.
"I mean, my friend, she's not going to do this like you wrote it, in fact I don't think she's going to do this at all. That man of hers will kill her first. And then you."
"OK, OK. We are moving on, are we not?" replied Anatole. He knew Theodore would say all this. "On to Varna. The Black Sea, the resorts, the bars, the stars... Here Jubie, what do you think?" and he handed Jubie the manuscript. Ted swiftly took it away from her.
"Lets have lunch here" Ted said. It was hard to see where: the place seemed deserted.
"We gonna have lunch now, or what?" Ted repeated.
Anatole was watching a woman on a distant roof. She was putting up washing, and seemed to be singing.