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Authors: Florence Dugas

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Dolorosa Soror

BOOK: Dolorosa Soror
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Dolorosa Soror

 

 

 

By

 

Florence Dugas

 

translated by Marti Hohmann

 

 

“...I will make you cry; there is too much grace between us.”

Saint-John Perse,
Amers

 

 

Prologue

And if I loved her? No act of mourning, not even these pages where I bring her back to life, would make me forget her hands or mouth, would make me admit she is gone. Did she love me? Do you love those who love you? Where did she come from? J. P. brought her over one night, at my request, to photograph her. Where is she? Her death separated us; my death will not reunite us. And where am I? In hell, they say... Damned women—very damned.

All too often, when I am out walking, I think I see her slender silhouette before me, that particular way she had of dancing while walking, with one of her very round shoulders incessantly baring itself, the fabric of her dress sliding over her skin. Patiently, harmoniously, she pushes it back toward her neck; you can see the undulation of her hair on her shoulders. When just about to catch up, I glimpse a nearly white kiss-curl, a touch of blondness trembling against her rounded cheek, the promise of ample buttocks. I speed up and pass, but of course it is not her. Only in books may you journey among the dead. Eurydice, I am thinking of you. This illusion, this deception, is my only way of being with her. My way of being hers, always. Of being her.

 

Chapter I

September

At first I did my best, for the sake of conformity, to love men as women are supposed to love men. I say "men," but there were only two of them—I don't have a taste for collections. I loved them one right after the other—I don't have a taste for repetition, either. Love, you say? At nineteen years old, what does anyone know about love?

Then he came along, but I will talk about that soon enough. I was taking courses at the university, in addition to pursuing my interest in the theater. His voice had passionate and distant intonations. The distance in it particularly pleased me.

Did he love me? He played a part with me, he taught me to act—became the director of my real life.
1

I was trying until then to take my fleeting loves seriously. A laughable Madame Bovary, for four years I had been holding forth on the merits of romantic love. Apparently, I did not believe my own rhetoric, at least not enough to have orgasms when my mere scraps of men clasped me in their arms.

This happens to many women, to too many women: they experience much more pleasure all alone than at the hands of the fumbling men in their lives. Some women even manage to feel
guilty about being so unresponsive to their lovers' clumsiness, so much have they persuaded themselves that a beard is proof of omnipotence.
2
They take the problem upon themselves, make it their own. The result is that the men ejaculate even more prematurely—and the women are left in the lurch even more often.

I was like the others: I chalked up my frigidity as a reflection of my disgust—or boredom.

From the first with J. P., I was never bored.

Deep down, I was already gay with him. Not yet lesbian, but completely a faggot.

You always think you have something of the other sex inside of you. There was a bit of that in it. With J. P., I was like a young boy who loves boys—as later with Nathalie I was like a boy who loves girls.

Why did my parents make me a woman? A minuscule error of genetic programming, a whole life not to take up and make my own.

J. P. had vast resources of femininity—a stone-butch femininity.

Nice couple...

Nathalie was a girl with girls and with boys. A complete whore with both of them. Submissive to every caprice, with a nearly animal ingenuity in perversion.

There was nothing against her nature, or even calculated in her tastes: she was like a tree that supports the caresses and brutalities of the wind with the same nonchalance.

At least that is what I thought at first. Later, I understood there was a monstrous despair in her, a startling guilt no excess could absolve or shake free. She became an object only when
her very soul was exhausted.

***

As soon as J. P. and I met, in that corridor of the third floor on registration day, we recognized each other.

At the time I had a lover presumptive, a boy my age, with whom I had had sex three times: the first to see what it would be like; the second to convince me; the third to get rid of him.

He would spend hours caressing me with his fingertips, kissing my neck, telling me he loved me. It was unspeakably boring. I would have liked for him to take me rapidly, brutally, without trying to make me come—the insupportable pretension of the majority of men who think a woman's orgasm will absolve them of their egotism.

He would call me often, telling me about his inauthentic feelings, suggesting we go to dubious concerts in out-of-the-way suburbs, and no longer occupying my fantasies.
3
J. P. was very different. He was older—nearly twice my age. By then, he had arrived at a seasoned irony that made his expression both sarcastic and self-deprecating. He reassured and troubled you at the same time.

You knew he would know what to do. You feared what he would be capable of doing. In class, we got along well enough for him to approach me. As I was able to discern later, it was the strategy he used most often. I stupidly gave in with good humor. We ran into each other one day at the beginning of the afternoon. He bought me a coffee and asked me to pose for him; three days later we were in bed together.

He came to my place at around six o'clock on a pretty day in September, with champagne purchased pre-chilled and a large collection of photographic supplies and materials he would not use that day, but which he set up carefully between gulps of champagne and left there. I was sitting on the big metal bed that dwarfed the central room of my small studio apartment. We drank a toast.

A little later he looked at me as if seeing me for the first time and very politely asked me to get undressed. He himself retained both his jeans and his reserve.

A nearly too-warm late autumn presided over Paris. I stood immobile, nude in the middle of the room, my palms moist, and the soles of my feet, too, not even cooled off by the cold tile. Not knowing what to do with my hands—I who had taught so many others what to do with theirs onstage—I put them on my hips, throwing back my shoulders at the same time. It was grotesque. He got up and closed the window. The noise of the street ceased with one blow, and his voice seemed abnormally loud in the sudden silence.

"Lie down on the bed. On your stomach. With your face towards the window."

Nearly relieved to be able to bury my face in the pillows...

I heard him open his bag, felt him leaning over me. He gently took my hands and bound them, one after the other, to the bars on the headboard with fine leather straps he had brought expressly for that purpose. He tied them very tightly to make me understand it wasn't just a game, and my fingers briefly opened and closed like a chicken's claws. I knew then what I had already sensed: from that moment forward, my life would be different.

Not for an instant did I think of protesting. Because I felt astonishingly free to refuse everything, I was thus completely free to accept.

He caresses the nape of my neck and my shoulders, kissing me for a long time/ His lips trace journeys down my back; his tongue makes its way down the long depression of my spine, then flickers between my buttocks. He comes back up to bite my shoulders and the nape of my neck as if I were a little kitten. Then he goes back down to the small of my back.

Using both hands, he spreads my buttocks, and I tense up at first; then the feeling that I am being ridiculous, combined with desire, claws its way through my belly and encourages me to open myself up.

His tongue gently follows the furrow of my buttocks, lingers upon my anus, and explores inside, then comes back and goes lower, between my parted thighs. I am as wet as I have ever been with a man. He investigates my sex, opening my labia, rolling the lips gently between his fingers. His tongue journeys over my clitoris, while much lower his hair sweeps against my thighs. I feel a spasm, then offer myself even more.

He licked me until I came. He licked, sucked, bit, scratched, grazed, and manhandled me. He drove his fingers into my sex, getting them very wet; then he caressed my ass again, his fingers soaked, and buried them deeply there: first one finger, then two, three. I would never have believed myself so easily opened. With his right hand he stroked my breasts, crushed against the comforter.

I came and he got back up, his thumb still buried in my vagina, his fingers continuing to play with my labia and clitoris. I convulsed against the straps around my wrists like a frog whose head had just been cut off. I begged him to stop.

He remained strangely distant, as if his caresses hardly concerned him—as if he were manipulating the buttons of a mechanism whose operation he could figure out without resorting to the instruction booklet.

I should have detested him for treating me that way. On the contrary, I was grateful to him for having spared me both the garlands of sentiment and the masculine manifestations of self-satisfaction. I felt myself at once object and enigma—like a text written in a language difficult to decipher.

Still dressed, he is seated on the side of the bed; he caresses me still, almost distractedly, touching my back and the nape of my neck. His fingers slide toward my face, buried in the pillows, find my mouth, roll between my lips.

So that's what I smell like? I think.

He puts his two hands on my neck and unhooks the long golden chain holding my grandmother's wedding ring—it is all I have left of her. I understand at once what he is going to do, and it upsets me.

He redirects one hand towards my sex and plays with me, thrusting in one finger, lightly pinching my labia, tracing circles around my clitoris. He dips his thumb in my vagina and wets it; then he plunges it into my ass.

Time stands still just long enough for me to get used to his touch and open up more. Then there is a rapid whistling sound, and I feel the little chain stinging my buttocks.

I experience a new, violent pain, something that reminds me of nothing I know, and yet evokes something. A burning more than a foot wide, whose warmth is rapidly diffused from the epicenter. And immediately a second blow. Then a third.

I stopped holding my breath and cried out. I did not protest; I simply cried, the cry of mistreated flesh—although I tried to hold it in through pride, tried to count the blows, to detach myself from the scene. Very quickly afterwards, I cried out again, and little, completely parallel lashes followed one after the other, from the small of my back to my thighs. Soon I was no more than the pain, a pain that completely took hold of me. I begged him to stop without being able to think of the word.
5

Of course I asked myself why I let him do it, why I twisted my loins towards the oncoming blow, why I felt ridiculously proud of being so ripped apart. I did not know the answer. I cried because I was in pain, but also because beneath the pain I felt arise in me, with each blow, a cesspool of swallowed anguish I knew it would do me well one day or another to explain to myself. I sobbed this first time as if I were a little girl, as if I were no longer able to stop, the tears calling forth tears, calling forth blows.

I suddenly realized that he had stopped and that I was no more than a vast burning flooding the middle of my body. The
only isolatable sensation was that of the strips of leather about my wrists.

Then there was a great weight on the bed between my spread legs. He leaned over me and, without imposing his weight, spread my buttocks with one hand. He placed the tip of his dick on my anus and forced it open—slowly—so that at each instant I could feel the weight of the gift he was obliging me to accept.

I had never been sodomized before. Even his fingers in my anus earlier had horrified me, without my being able to give up my liking for it.

There was this terrible moment when the fat part of the glans had to drill itself a passage—then an instant of respite before he weighed heavier upon me and I let myself be conquered, both humiliated and proud of being thus vanquished. Then I felt the iron bar of flesh thrust itself in vertically, ever more deeply.

A vagina has a bottom. When a man fucks you, unless he's the size of Tom Thumb, he arrives soon enough at the end. Even the position you choose may speed up events. Your legs around his neck, his cock deep inside you: he cannot get in any farther, even if he may think he is doing so with each ravaging thrust, even if you open up yourself more to him than to any other. A vagina is an impasse. A dead end.

An asshole does not have a bottom. No matter how generously endowed is the frisky member moving around in there, free and greedy spaces remain, untold depths, mystery. J. P. was larger than my two previous lovers—and than many other men, too. He thrust himself into me as if he wanted to reach my heart. I arched my back, my loins raised, so he could go deeper.

Impaled. Since then, I have been offered to cocks as vigor- ous, to anonymous masked males who buried themselves interminably between my buttocks until their pubic hair scratched my skin. I've had dicks planted deep inside my ass, in that space where shameful substances stagnate; they were lost in me as if they would become a part of me. But none of these frenzied cocks made me feel that first, novel sensation: the exploration of the virgin territory of the map of my body.

Buttfucked: what other word is there for it? I had the very clear vision of that apricot of hard flesh lost in the obscurity of my organs; I anticipated the moment when his pleasure, white and creamy and warm, would gush forth in my narrow cavern.
6
The sensation of burning against my torn skin fused with the ice in my womb, and I came violently. My anus contracted like a hand around his cock, and I pulled him into the deepest part of me, delighted to suck at his cock with my buttocks, to lose nothing of the stake that stabbed me.

Next frame: he was leaning over and untying me. I heard him walk toward the bathroom. The sounds of a shower.

I was annihilated. Liquefied. After his departure, I saw I had pissed myself a little when coming; the bed was soaked.

He came back, already dressed—had he ever undressed, anyway, except to take his shower? He took my head in his hands and kissed me delicately on the forehead, eyes, and lips. We exchanged several inconsequential, complicitous remarks: He would photograph me another time, he said. He went towards the door; I followed him. I kissed him, my breasts trembling against his cold leather jacket. He slipped his hand between my thighs; I was happy to show him how very wet I was. I knelt, very quickly undid his pants, and took his whole cock, already half-hard, into my mouth.

The pleasure of feeling him grow tense. The buckle of his undone belt rubs against my cheek. His hands clench in my hair's short curls. For the first time of my life, I enjoy swallow- ing sperm. He leaves shortly afterwards.

I went into the bathroom.

Except for my eyes, ravaged with mascara, and my moistened lips, nothing could be read from my face. Could I have been so totally transformed, yet have nothing show? I did have evil-looking red marks around my wrists.

I turned around, did my best to arrange the mirrors so I could see myself, the one on the door of the small bureau and the movable round mirror above the sink. From my waist to my knees I was completely striped with purple lines that over- lapped, extended over each other, ran together. They were more visible on my buttocks than on my thighs or back because in that month (it was September) I still had traces of tan and bathing-suit lines. I counted forty-something parallel marks. Each one looked like a double impression, a handwritten note in the margin of a book. The skin was slightly raised and swollen, with a more pronounced cleft where the clasp of the little chain had struck.

Did I mention that he put the chain back around my neck before leaving? I looked at it again from the front. The wedding ring of antique yellow gold bobbed between my breasts, as usual.

At that instant, and for the first time, I felt a strange pride in having been beaten and marked. Since then I have felt this way each time the mirror has thrown back to me the image of my broken flesh. By the next day the pain had passed, leaving only the geometric testimonials on my decorated skin. In the days that followed, I observed with eager curiosity—and also detachment—the lines slowly effacing themselves. Soon only several bluish marks remained; then the skin was again immaculate. This seemed to make it call out for another homage.

He phoned me eight days later.

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