Monday, June 25, 2007
I'd heard they were a mixed couple, but that didn't bother me. I always try to keep an open mind. I knocked. He opened, and there was that fleshy smile of his - and those eyes that followed wherever one went. It unsettled me. He stood beaming and beaconing me to enter. I did.
"She's in the library," he explained, "reading the Kamasutra."
I followed him into the library. There she waited, a wooden monument next to his random build. Cedar she was - I could tell by the scent - or perhaps just the limbs were of cedar. I suspected a torso of oak, the noblest of woods. As I looked upon her we shared a meaningful glance. Her steady gaze put me at ease, for I did have slight inhibitions about the visit, considering their relationship.
"Did you bring the tools?" he inquired, expecting, perhaps, that I might have forgotten.
"They're in my case," I told him. "But could I ask you to leave the room while I work?" I knew it wasn't ethical in my profession, but I wanted to be alone with her.
"Is that necessary?" He seemed surprised. "After all, I am paying you for your services. I had thought to watch."
"All right," I acquiesced, but his continued presence was a source of unease.
We carried her to the bed. She was heavier than I had imagined, for her petite design.
"I'll remove her clothes for you, if you wish," he offered.
"No," I told him, "I'll continue from here."
I undid the clasps and zippers of the ankle-length dress covering her shapely form. But as I slid the article away I saw how blemished and raw the wood beneath had become. Secretly, I wondered what he had done with her to get her like that - I could tell she had been a careful work of art when first she was made. Wood should never be treated with neglect!
I activated the power sander and set to work. Sawdust sprayed from her midriff as I smoothed the roughened area. When I was finished I ran my palm across the midsection. How warm the wooden skin felt after the sanding! With a chisel I accentuated the navel, then I turned my attention to the remaining anatomy, sanded arms, legs and the artfully carved back. Soon the surfaces were restored, and the grain of her skin seemed to glow in the dim bedroom light.
I studied her intensely to see what work remained. There were still the erogenous areas to complete. The breasts I would have to do by hand - they might be ruined otherwise. So I selected the finest grain of sandpaper I had and began, slowly and steadily, to rub. It would take a few hours, but my hands and arms were firm and I was confident of their endurance. All the while I massaged those oaken orbs our gazes were locked and her smile never changed. And as I finished the delicate work below the waist I could tell she was completely satisfied. Then I was done.
I was sorry that my visit must finally end. But I had attended to the job conscientiously and well. She was a masterpiece to behold, as I was certain she had been the day she was created. We dressed her and returned her to the library.
"You may go now," he said, "I'll call you again if I need you."
As I left I could feel his roving eyes upon me, observing me with the condescension that creatures of flesh reserved for us beings of wood.
(Read this story in Polish - translation by Joanna.
Note: Thanks everyone who contributed their own story to the above photo - more are welcome! Just leave a mini-story, caption or other impressions in the comments section. Tuesday night, NY time, I'll post a new found photo for a further set of stories.
P.S. I was tempted to caption this "Behind every good man there stands a woman." :-)