Topical Guide 16
“Yes” and “No”
This is obvious, but I would be remiss not to point it out:
Well, there we were in his apartment, and we hadn’t been alone for five minutes when all of a sudden his hands developed a mind of their own! One minute he was a nice guy with a boyish smile and a nice conversation, even if he really didn’t have much to say except about how he was sure to be district manager pretty soon and how much money he would make, and a few nice things about how pretty my hair looked when it was down and how long my legs were, and then a few minutes later he was all over me and tearing at my things with the hands of a forceful brute. I kept saying ‘no, no,’ in a strong voice even if I couldn’t really yell because it might have disturbed the neighbors who didn’t know what was going on and might have caused a lot of trouble, and I said ‘no,’ but the more I said it the more he thought I was turning on a green light, and I said ‘no, no’ but he kept right on going and even kept right on going faster, and ‘no’ I said, ‘no,’ and when to my surprise a little sound like a squeal jumped out of my mouth he said, ‘Jesus, Honey, the neighbors,’ which is not a very romantic thing to say, and ‘no’ I said, ‘no,’ and then before I knew it, it was all over and it was a big disappointment, let me tell you.”
Eliza Foote in Little Follies, “My Mother Takes a Tumble”
the sun shines for you he said the day we were lying among the rhododendrons on Howth head in the grey tweed suit and his straw hat the day I got him to propose to me yes first I gave him the bit of seedcake out of my mouth and it was leapyear like now yes 16 years ago my God after that long kiss I near lost my breath yes he said I was a flower of the mountain yes so we are flowers all a womans body yes that was one true thing he said in his life and the sun shines for you today yes that was why I liked him because I saw he understood or felt what a woman is and I knew I could always get round him and I gave him all the pleasure I could leading him on till he asked me to say yes and I wouldn’t answer first only looked out over the sea and the sky . . . and O that awful deepdown torrent O and the sea the sea crimson sometimes like fire and the glorious sunsets and the figtrees in the Alameda gardens yes and all the queer little streets and the pink and blue and yellow houses and the rosegardens and the jessamine and geraniums and cactuses and Gibraltar as a girl where I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.
[more to come on Thursday, June 3, 2021]
Have you missed an episode or two or several? You can catch up by visiting the archive.