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Special thanks go to Javagirl for her revision and editorial suggestions.
* * * * *
I found this little anecdote among the papers of the well-known American painter and illustrator, Neal Brockton. At the time, I hesitated to reveal it. After all, his family had commissioned me to do a biography of him, and they might have frowned to see this earthy side of the artist revealed. However, Neal Brockton has been gone for twenty-five years now and most of those who were close to him are gone as well. So I think it is possible to publish the story now without fear of recrimination or a libel suit. Here is Neal’s story.
* * *
I should have known something was up right away. It was eight o’clock in the morning, and the house was quiet as a morgue. The woman who owned the house had friendly eyes. She was an ocean of a woman—all billowing waves of flesh, lapping at the shore of her skin, all roar and thunder of surf. She rolled like the deck of a ship as she walked with ponderous footfalls. The velvet purple robe she wore swayed like the curtain of a theater. She had once been beautiful, and indeed she still was. “Rubenesque,” she probably was called once.
“I think you’ll find the room more than satisfactory, young sir,” she kept telling me over and over. “The last gent who had it had to leave sudden, debts or something; skedaddled to Nevada, so the rumor goes; he always paid his rent on time, though; you’ll find the room more than satisfactory, young sir.” On and on she droned in her deep gray voice.
Two of my fellow students at the Art Institute, Bryant and Colin, had told me about the vacant room that I could use as a studio. Incredibly cheap, they told me. They also had their own studios in the three-story house on Post.
Huffing and wheezing, Mrs. Dandridge lifted her ponderous frame up the stairs. We left behind the first floor and the second. Each floor presented a series of discreetly painted doors in sea green with cream trim. The hallway of the third story was no different. Bryant and Colin had two of the rooms, and Mrs. Dandridge opened a third door for me.
The room was perfect for a painter. It was large, and a wealth of light flowed, flooded, and cascaded into the room. I could already picture my canvas in the center—a model bathed in the light, and my paints next to the canvas. There was a couch in the corner and another chair for company.
I was startled when she quoted the rent for the room. Bryant and Colin were right—it was ridiculously low. Suspiciously low.
“You look like a nice quiet young man to me,” she offered by way of explanation. “I don’t want any trouble here.”
I quickly snatched her offer for the room. I wouldn’t find another nearly as good at twice the price in all of San Francisco. Although I normally didn’t drink so early, Mrs. Dandridge insisted that we seal the deal with a glass of sherry.
As I left to go to school at the Art Institute, I was struck once again by how amazingly quiet it was in the house—like a funeral parlor.
Out on Post, I shrugged and walked the short distance to school to tell my two colleagues of my good fortune. They clapped me on the back, and like true bohemians (or so we thought), we had to celebrate with a bottle of red wine.
The next morning, not having any classes but only a headache, I lugged my artist’s supplies up to my room—canvases, tins of turpentine, rags, brushes, pencils and paints, and my easel. I must have made a fair racket, for the doors of several of the rooms opened a crack. Girl after girl peeked out at me sleepily—blondes, brunettes, redheads, tall girls and short ones, voluptuous beauties and slender pixies. Some had green, almond eyes, others enticed me with smoldering grays. The one thing they had in common was that they were all attractive women—every single one of them.
Gazing at me curiously, they were all scantily dressed. They were all dressed in kimonos or short robes, displaying long, slender legs and a hint—and some times more than a hint—of lush, creamy breast.
I had to use a canvas to cover my erection.
Up in my room it dawned on me why the rent was so cheap. I had rented a studio in a bordello. By having our studios there, I, and my fellow artists, gave bahis firmaları legitimacy to the house on Post Street.
As I worked on an illustration for a boy’s magazine that day, I listened as the house gradually awakened. About noon, there were the first, faint stirrings, like birds awakening at dawn. I could hear the girls’ soft voices drifting through the air. I could hear their laughter wafting like cigarette smoke up the stairs. I listened to the sounds as they readied themselves for the evening’s work. By the time I left my studio at five the house was a whirlwind of activity. A discreet piano began to tinkle behind me as I walked down Post Street.
I’m no prude. It didn’t matter in the least to me what went on in the house on Post Street. However, therewere people in my family to whom it mattered a great deal.
That evening at dinner my father said, “Your mother has told me you obtained a studio.”
“Where?” he asked.
An innocent enough question, but a clammy sweat broke out on my forehead. My stern father would never understand, I thought. His stolid gaze regarded me curiously.
“Over—over on Post Street,” I told him vaguely.
He grunted, lifting a spoon of tomato soup to his bearded lips. “I’ll have to see it.”
For several days I managed to put him off with excuses of deadlines I had to meet for magazine covers. But I knew I couldn’t stall him forever. I was resigned to his wrath and, eventually, to the inevitability of moving.
Although I paid the rent myself, at nineteen I was just beginning to make my way and earn money as a magazine illustrator. My art supplies and the studio were the only parts of my upkeep I took care of myself. My parents provided all the Art Institute tuition, not to mention the abundance of meals and wines. My stern, straight-laced father, with his gray hat and vest, his gold chain, and his austere salt-and-pepper beard would quickly put an end to my studio adventure.
My anxiety was made doubly taut when I made my first . . . acquaintance at the house.
Catching the stream of honey-colored light one morning, I was working diligently on an illustration for a local magazine when I heard a soft, tentative knock on the door. I opened it to see a beautiful young woman, not more than a year or two older than me, leaning against my doorframe.
She was dressed in a royal blue kimono that had a fiery dragon writhing around the hem. She had matching blue slippers. The deep and brilliant blue set off the porcelain white of her skin. Her hair matched the honey-color of the sunlight. Her smile was stunningly bright. The kimono came only to mid-thigh, so I had a marvelous look at her legs, her saucy knees and succulent, smooth thighs.
She smiled and said, “I had a late customer . . .”
“Very late,” I said.
“Very late,” she nodded, “and I heard that we had another young artist in our midst.”
I nodded awkwardly.
She laughed—a light, silver, airy laugh. “Well, aren’t you going to invite me in? Or are you going to leave me standing in the hall?”
“S—sure, sure, come in,” I said, stepping back and sweeping my hand to offer her my room and anything else she wanted.
She entered, looking around regally as if for all the world she were Queen Victoria, at the very least.
“My name is Lisa, but professionally Mrs. Dandridge calls me Jade. She says—well, never mind what she says.”
I swept turpentine-soaked rags from the chair for her to sit. She took her throne. She yawned and stretched and I caught a charming glimpse of her breast. It wasn’t huge, but it was finely sculpted in alabaster. Her aureole was chocolate-colored.
She didn’t notice her exposed breast. Or if she did, she wasn’t self-conscious about it. She continued, “The girls appointed me to come up and see what you were like.”
I asked, haughtily, “And do you like what you see?”
She gave a shrug. “You’ll do. Your ears are too big and you have a huge Adam’s apple, but you’ll pass.”
“That’s good to know,” I said, only slightly downcast.
“Some are real beasts,” she said.
“You mean they are ugly?”
Lisa shook her head. “Not ugly. Beasts. They shout and rant and rave. I think you can be an artist kaçak iddaa and still be civilized, don’t you?”
I nodded, slightly amused at a prostitute who could talk about being civilized. Looking back today, I have come to realize that she was perhaps the most civilized person I ever met.
“What’syour name?” she asked.
We chatted as if we were at tea—this petite, lovely prostitute and me, the bohemian artist. We chatted casually, as if I had an introductory letter and I was offering it to a society matron, a duchess, at the very least.
As a young artist, conventionally unconventional, eager to explore all the by-ways of bohemianism, especially the carnal ones, I was enchanted with Lisa.
She walked around the studio, asking me what this implement or that was used for in my painting. She was an odd mixture of worldliness and shyness. Knowing little about art but much about men perhaps accounted for the mixture.
She stood before the canvas I was working on. It was a study I was doing for the Institute—a drawing of a Greek statue. The statue was impeccable, hip and breast flawless and smooth.
Lisa studied it—critically, I thought. Who should know more about the female body, I wondered, admiring hers.
“Do you find her . . . attractive?” asked Lisa.
I should have known. She wasn’t as interested in my drawing as much as she was in studying the woman’s shape—as if comparing herself to her Greek rival. My drawing could have been of one of the girls working in the house.
I laughed. “Not as attractive as you,” I replied.
“Would you like to paint me?” she asked.
“Would I!” I exclaimed.
Lisa shrugged out of her kimono. The royal blue slid from her shoulders and whispered to the floor. Like an unashamed Eve, Lisa proudly displayed her creamy breasts for me.
“Do you like them?” she asked, a small smile flickering on her lips.
Her tits were like two ivory pears, immaculate and smooth. She held them in her palms, as if offering her sweet, tempting fruit to me.
My eyes drifted over her body. I savored the curves of her hips, the angle of her knees. The honeyed light from the window spilled over her flesh, making it warm and vibrant like a peach. My eyes floated down her belly to her fleecy pubic hair. Her labia were flushed pinkly.
“Like?” she asked. Her narrow tongue caressed her succulent lower lip. Her lip gleamed. Her nipples stiffened and poked out.
Dumbly, I nodded. I dropped in front of her and buried my face in her muff. She smelled sweet and tangy, like cinnamon perhaps. She ran her slender fingers through my hair as I nuzzled her labia.
“Honey,” she whispered, “don’t get me going now.”
But she did nothing to stop me. In fact, she squatted slightly, spreading her thighs, to give me better access to her twat. I slid my tongue along her satin trench. I located her joy berry. I flicked it with my tongue’s tip. Lisa’s legs trembled, and she gurgled in her throat. I blew gently across her pussy lips, then sucked her clitoris between my lips, nibbling on it as if it were a grape. Her slit was drenched. The fragrance of feminine nectar filled my nostrils, causing my cock to twitch.
“I see you have a couch,” she whispered in a trembling, demure voice.
I rose and lifted her in my arms. Although she was voluptuous, when I carried her she was light, as if passion consumed her body and she was transparent. Wrapping her arms around my neck, she pressed her mouth against my throat. I could feel her pliant, warm lips.
I laid her on the couch. She drew me beside her. I tongued and nibbled on her lips, kissing her chin, nose, throat, and mouth. I could feel her pulse galloping in the hollow of her throat. I lapped at her quivering mounds, tasting the slightly salty flavor of her breasts. She opened her luscious thighs for me. I fondled her dripping bush. She moaned softly.
The blonde beauty reached for me. She cooed, taking my rigid rod in her hand. Her fingertips felt delightfully cool as she caressed my cock. My shaft throbbed in her palm. She laughed pulling me into her.
Slick, lubricated, the entrance to paradise was glossy-smooth. Penetrating her, my cock slid down her love chute. I was buried in her velvet kaçak bahis love vice. My aching balls rested against her fleecy slit.
“Please give me your cock. I need you now, love.” she urged.
I rammed it in. Her breath gusted out of her. She wrapped her legs around my waist. Her sweet little pussy made obscene sounds as I pushed and shoved my meat into her. Her titties jiggled with my driving rhythm. Her scarlet mouth was slack with passion. She was panting. Sweat glistened on the ivory pears of her breasts. I pummeled her pussy relentlessly.
“Yes, yes, lover,” she whimpered with pleasure.
My pace increased. I took her with powerful strokes. In a lustful, maddened frenzy we climbed the peak together. My balls quaked. She lifted her hips. I gripped her ass. Her nails dug into my back.
Suddenly, I exploded, shooting hot wads of spunk into her delicious, sopping hole. Feeling my rod erupt inside of her, Lisa shuddered. She arched her back, lifted her ass, holding rigid for a moment. Then she fell back. She writhed beneath me. Her pussy muscles spasmed, milking me in her velvet sheath, draining me.
We collapsed on the couch. Her juices, combined with my cum, trickled down her thigh. She sighed sweetly. The odor of our lovemaking mingled with the smell of paints and turpentine in my studio.
Lisa became a regular visitor to my studio. We said it was so she could model for me. We may have even believed it. She did very little modeling. Instead, we made more love than I painted.
That she was one of Mrs. Dandridge’s girls didn’t matter to me. I found her lovely. I adored her, but I didn’t love her. Neither of us needed the pretense. Lisa was a sensual, hedonistic pagan, and I wallowed with her in our dazzling carnal explorations.
The only smudge in my perfect arrangement was my stern father, who kept asking me about my studio. I knew I couldn’t deter him much longer. I would have to tell him about the house on Post Street. Now I had more at stake than just a studio. There was warm and eager Lisa waiting for me. But when my father learned about Mrs. Dandridge and probably Lisa, too, that would be the end of my studio on Post Street, the end of our daily trysts.
Unequivocally, my father said one morning, he was going to visit my studio the following day. Despite imminent disaster, I worked hard all that day on an illustration. I suppose working hard helped drowned my anxiety and depression. I needed to turn the assignment over to an editor the next day, so I worked into the sapphire night. The night began to cascade with music from the piano. Voices and laughter bubbled like frothing champagne. I could hear the wheezing rumble, like an old organ, of Mrs. Dandridge’s voice occasionally.
Finally, exhausted, I laid the finished illustration aside. Done!
I was coming down the stairs, prepared to slip out by the side entrance, when a sea green and cream door opened. A gray hat, a gray vest, a gray suit, a gold chain came into view. There were many such in San Francisco in those days. But the salt-and-pepper beard—there was only one I recognized. Over his shoulder, I caught a glimpse of Lisa, fixing her hair.
“Dad!” I exclaimed.
“What—what are you doing here?” he croaked.
“I—my studio is on the top floor,” I told him, still amazed.
“Your studio is in a bordello?” But then he stopped, realizing that he was in a bordello, too.
I nodded, staring at him.
We gazed silently at one another.
I don’t know what was churning through his mind, but I sure knew what was going through mine.
“It’s a fine studio, don’t you think?” I asked.
He pondered the thought for a moment. “A fine studio,” he said gruffly, “just fine.”
“I’m glad you like it.”
“I’ll be sure to mention the fact to your mother. Of course, no need for her to see it.”
“I would appreciate that,” I said dryly.
My father clapped me on the back. “What would you say to a brew at the Poodle Dog?” he asked.
“I would say that is a wonderful idea. A man gets thirsty after a hard day of painting.”
“A man surely does,” said Dad, softly, putting his arm around my shoulder as we strolled out into the darkness.
I kept the studio for several years after that. Finally, a wave of hypocrisy closed the doors of the house forever, and I had to find another location to pursue the lofty goals of art. Still, I’ve never forgotten that house on Post Street.
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