They look like little cartmans, bundled up and round. Their starfish hands squeeze out from their arms, and they waddle onto the Metropolitan Transit System’s public bus, pushing and chortling like fat turkeys – if fat turkeys could speak Spanish.
These are what we call in Southern California abuelas, grandmothers of the Mexican variety.
And if you’ve ever had an opportunity to interact with someone from the Third World, especially from North America’s economically poorest nation, you’ll know they’re all about grouping. Everything in their sphere of interest revolves around the group, the collective, la raza.
It can be nauseating if you’re even slightly inclined toward individualism.
Yes, of course, the United States and Canada are themselves infected with massive groupthink. I don’t ever want to leave the impression they’re any better or more evolved in any aspect. They’re not. But the quantity of groupthink, and to a degree its quality, is different. In the United States and Canada there is room for slices of these societies to tolerate individuality. In Mexico, at least among the border towns I’ve experienced, the tolerance isn’t so clear. You’re expected to act as they act. You’re expected to do as they do. You’re expected to think as they think. Reality and evidence are unimportant.
A silly anecdotal proof might be my name. For whatever reason, they refuse to say it. I honestly cannot recall a Mexican person ever giving more than a first try at saying and then remembering my name. They automatically click toward their cultural chauvinism and call me Gregorio. I don’t have to do a thing. I am Gregorio by default. And when that becomes too syllabically difficult, I am relegated to Goiyo.
It happens every time.
Importantly, Third World countries in my hemisphere are dominated by Catholic Christianity. There’s good and bad to it, and I fall on the side of believing it to be a force for mostly bad. I’ve written before how Catholicism is a great benefactor to Western Civilization, but here is an obvious aspect where it is horribly, horribly wrong: sex. I suppose anyone can write about Catholic views on sex, and most of what is written is largely garbage. You can predict the criticisms about repression and subjugation of women. It’s all been said before. There isn’t any light there.
What I can stress about Northern Mexican culture when it comes to sex is schizophrenia.
The average Mexican babe is pummeled with sex and sexual imagery from a very early age. Catch Mexican television. I am no prude, but even I have to take a break from tits and ass. Not Mexicans! Fuck. Nightly news casts seat pouty-lipped, huge breasted women to read the day’s happenings. Programming children shows have super tightly clothed babes running around. Soap operas are ridiculous. Movies. Comedies. Dramas. Popular music. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. And when you’re done, a little more sex.
And Mexican women are freer when it comes to their bodies in the sense they obviously dress to the tastes of Mexican men. You can see this on the streets here in the US. Large Latina chicks stuff themselves into the tightest clothing on the planet, skinny jeans and all. They don’t care. Boobs falling out, ass everywhere. It’s all there for the world to see. They’re slathered in makeup, poof’d up in perfumes. Mexican dudes love it.
And where I work there is a constant problem of cultural attitudes. In some parts of Mexican culture it is acceptable and encouraged for men to be forward in their approval of women, approval in the come-hither sense. Mexican men where I work banter openly with Mexican women, and they discuss penis size, anal sex, and the vagaries of various foods to different anatomical parts, taking all that talk to its logical conclusion. It’s all quite harmless, but also very revealing. The US chicks who work around Mexican dudes often are revolted. If a Mexican dude spies a tongue ring on a US college babe, he’ll point out how she’s probably very good at sucking dick. Man, oh, man! Watch the horror on the white babe’s face. Though she wears the tongue ring to give that very impression, and she no doubt is amazing at sucking dick, she will suddenly turn into an outraged Mother Teresa. Hilarious, but also sad when the Mexican dude is fired for something called “sexual harassment.”
So that’s the background to what transpired at the front of this particular bus on this particular morning.
The cartmans bullied their way to the front, openly crowding out less aggressive riders to gain a supermajority in our section. The cartmans all work in the service industry, cleaning houses and hotels, taking care of rich US families, etc. They know one another, and it’s not unusual for them to network this tidy sorority for jobs and the like.
I happen to understand a great deal of the pigeon, Third World Spanish spoken by Northern Mexicans.
This morning, the lone non-abuelas were myself and an older white woman, probably in her mid50s. She happened to hold a paperback, bookmarked toward the end of the novel, and seemed to want to hide its title from view. It was pretty obvious. The cover by now is notorious. It’s the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. Yeah, I was shocked to learn the book has two other parts. Wow. Anyway, the white woman carefully placed the book face down on her lap.
The abuelas seized her discretion, noting how coy this white lady seemed. The spine of the book, however, flashed to one of the abuelas, and the cartmans were off in full gossip mode. The Spanish started flying, and sorted remarks were made about the older white woman.
Obviously, the abuelas cackled, this lady was a closet puta, a whore. The cartmans nodded in agreement, laughing and clapping, showing their deep lines and squinty eyes. They were having a blast at the older white lady’s unknowing expense. The older white lady seemed to instinctively understand she was being referred to, and was a little unnerved when one of the abuelas daringly pointed in her direction. The cartmans continued on, noting how the white lady probably no longer had a man, a sure sign of her worthlessness. She was no doubt masturbating to the book, the cartmans spat in Spanish.
The scene grabbed me for several reasons.
The white lady got off at the next stop, and she was by this time pretty upset – at least she seemed upset in the face. I never spoke to her. I wondered if maybe this was the first time in her adult life she was caught with obviously feminine masturbatory material. I wondered what she thought of the book. Obviously, she was enjoying it! For Christ’s sake, she had a fucking bookmark and was carrying it around in public. Hahahahaha. But I felt a sadness toward her because women of her generation and later were taught to somewhat hide their need for raw, animal sexuality.
When the bus let the white lady go, I almost instantly thought about slut shaming and the cult around hating female libido. Obviously, the cult is strong in Mexican culture, but it has a different timbre, a different tone. The younger generation of Mexican women are wealthier, especially if they’re living in the US, and they’re better educated. They’re having fewer babies, and they’re making better choices when it comes to marriage. But the older Mexican generation of women still cling to the battered and awful notion of a woman being sexual for purely sexual reasons equals less of a woman.
Again, Mexican women talk about sex incessantly. They’re absorbed in who is doing what to whom, how, and when. Yet when they’re presented with the topic in purely enjoyment form, they recoil back to shaming another. And the group folds in on itself in agreement. Each one of these fat grandmas probably loved to be fucked silly, doggy style, ass up, face down, and all the rest. I’d bet good money the abuelas sucked a mean dick too. Why the shame? Why the finger pointing?
And then I remembered Anna.
THE RECTUM AS A POCKET
Anna wasn’t supposed to be on her knees, MANY YEARS AGO, behind a freeway’s sound barrier at the perimeter of a popular shopping mall, slathering my favorite part of me with saliva and making my eyes roll and stick in the back of their sockets.
It was my very first reception of fellacio, and Anna was a champ.
Nope, this wasn’t supposed to be happening.
Anna was bouncy, an effervescent ball of energy, super smart and from a great family. Her father was a physician; her mother, something of a business woman. And I learned in later years her family was probably old money.
On our first little date, Anna explained what proctology meant.
It was her father’s trade. She matter of fact gestured, pounding home how the rectum was a container, a pocket, a storage device. This was all being done in plain view of other fast food restaurant customers, and to their mild discomfort. Anna was undaunted. Oh, Craig, she expanded, people in prison use the rectum to couch tobacco products!
She regaled me with random body part knowledge regularly.
Anna was confident. She was curious. She was brilliant.
I was to be her first male experiment, as it turned out. She’d read and heard all about male workings, but wasn’t able to do the empirical testing such knowledge required – especially to round out a biological education.
Up until she met me, it was all theory.
And I was a good first choice as such things go. I was raised by a woman, so my softer features came to light when around girls, but I was also something of a jock. I straddled the line between the art fags and the douche bags. I was right in the middle, a perfect sprinkling of faggotry and the heyhowyadoin’? dude.
She took to me, and quickly.
We were from two different worlds. Anna liked that about us.
My parents divorced early, and my mother was left to twist in the winds of the failed sexual revolution. She was put out to pasture with newly empowering child support legislation, allowing her to find an apartment in a neighborhood filled with other single mother zombies. There, she worked two and sometimes three jobs, throwing all of her time and energy into her only child, me. My father darted in and out of my life, and so mom was defacto parentus totalus. Mom didn’t date for two-thirds of my life. I don’t know exactly why that was the case, but she wasn’t the single mom out on the prowl. She instead buckled down, making sure I was able to play organized sports and enjoy a robust childhood sans a father. All of that demanded her taking menial work.
Anna lived in an enormous house.
When mom and I were invited for dinner one evening, we entered Anna's estate and I remember my mother asking in all seriousness, It must take your family most of the week to clean this?
Anna laughed politely.
Anna loved to read. I didn’t read. Anna loved to learn. I loved to play baseball. Anna was insanely interested in everything. I loved to play baseball. She was a young woman. I was a little boy. We were the same age, but Anna was years and years beyond me. I loved to play baseball.
THE MONEY MELON
Anna’s breasts were two honeydew melons, standing at attention, and they accentuated the pinup girl lines her body revealed at small glimpses. She wore Summer dresses, and when she’d walk ahead of me the sun would catch the material at the right angles, silhouetting her gorgeous form. She could dazzle me every way, from great conversation to satisfying my prurient ogling. She had legs for days.
When she called me to announce we were going to the beach one Summer afternoon, I forgot that meant she’d be in a bathing suit.
Holy. Fucking. Shit.
I couldn’t function for the first 15 minutes as she plopped herself on my mother’s sofa. Her bikini top barely held together. Spaghetti straps were not all that common, and Anna’s bikini found its way to me from one of her family’s European vacations. God bless those Euros! Christ. My mind boggled at the thought I’d get to see the bottom, and soon.
At the beach, Anna’s sun-worshipping took on an otherworldly aspect. She handed me the bottle of lotion, asking I apply it to her back. Off came her shorts, and it was the first time I’d ever seen a chick’s buttocks in real life. She had a thong bottom. I tried to play it off as if I’d seen this a million times, but I could feel my legs shaking and my eye twitch. She prostrated herself on her towel, undoing her top so as to avoid tan lines.
There she was.
Friends, classmates were all around the beach. Anna wasn’t popular with the other girls, and that was due to a well -known cliché about young women: they’re haters. Smoking hot bitches are often shunned because, well, they’re smoking fucking hot. I wasn’t aware of the cliché just yet, but it was in full effect whenever I hung out with Anna.
The next day, guys were highfiving me furiously, asking for my secret.
I felt like I was betraying Anna’s friendship, so I asked the guys to chill. We’re just friends. She’s a cool girl. Guys went on to describe Anna in the way I knew I’d thought about her, but I didn’t like how they knew I also knew. Something about being a typical guy upset me. And though I was, and am, a typical guy – the most typical of typical – I didn’t like the mirror being held up. More than a few times, I’d get upset and defend her honor, or what I thought was her honor.
Anna drove a long, white, 70s, convertible Cadillac. She’d swing by practice and pick me up on a daily basis, and we’d go for a bite to eat or just drive. She loved to drive. Her mouse-colored hair, straight and long, blew, and it would tap against her Jackie O sunglasses. She’d talk and talk and talk. It wasn’t like any conversation I would have with another person. She’d found a book on some subject I didn’t understand, and she’d come to a conclusion. When we were in the halls the next day, she’d slip me a folded note, and when I broke it open to read I remember thinking this girl was incredible because she used parenthetical statements (I hadn’t any idea why half moons were in sentences).
One night she phoned me in an excited panic. Her parents were gone for the night. Could I get out of the house?
My mother was working all hours of the day and night. No problem. Next thing I knew, Anna and I were headed to the airport, and we sat on her hood and watched planes drop their landing gear directly above us as they continued onto the landing strip.
It was on that night Anna told me she wanted an orgasm. She had managed to give herself one, but wanted it generated by another person.
I paused, and the blood left my face and gathered in my shoes.
Anna instantly understood I hadn’t a clue about such things, though I was familiar with the word. She asked if I knew how the vagina worked. It’s like a triangle, Craig, a lovely, fleshy triangle. You just have to stimulate the apex of the triangle.
Anna’s thumbs and index fingers made it a lot easier for me to visualize the va-jay-jay’s essential elements.
Triangles I could understand! Yes, sir.
Anna laughed, dismissing the whole idea as her very own thought experiment, and she asked I forget she even mentioned it.
It was all I could think about for weeks.
Triangles were everyfuckingwhere.
Vaginas were labyrinths, dark holes I’d only seen in magazines. And since it was taboo to have such magazines around or on my person, the sight of pussy was fleeting and rare. A grand mystery. Anna had indeed unweaved that rainbow a bit, but not a lot. She was dealing with a rank amateur, and we both knew it.
The major league baseball team in my city happened to hold a free game at the local stadium.
Anna didn’t really like sports. The only sport she knew was college football, and that was mostly due to her father being an alumnus of Ohio State. Anna had sweatshirts and stickers. But she found sports boring, and she asked often why I was obsessed with baseball.
It was a chance for Anna to enter my world, my little provincial universe of professional baseball. She liked the fact she wouldn’t have to pay. She offered to drive.
The stadium was less than half filled, and the game was boring even by baseball standards.
She laughed when I stood for the National Anthem, and she was impressed I knew all the words. She didn’t really get a chance to hear the Anthem, she said, and to her the words sounded really violent. I’d never heard anyone talk that way. To me, it was just something everyone did at the start of the game. Anna looked at me with what I recall was at least a small amount of pity.
Anna and I walked around, talking. We walked to all levels of the stadium, and Anna pointed out parts of architecture. She marveled at the huge lights. She wondered about the scoreboard. She enjoyed running down the circular runways. We ate. But mostly we talked.
It was back to sex and what that meant.
Anna was a virgin, but she didn’t say that word with any pride. It was annoying to her. She wanted to have intercourse, she said, but wanted to practice first before she entered into a relationship. She spoke about the subject as if it were just typical conversation. I began to sweat.
She wanted to do things with me.
My mind scrambled.
She laughed and threw her head back, and then she broke my personal space and gave me a long hug, continuing to laugh at my shocked expression. We remained in embrace for longer than a quick joke hug should, and she asked if I could feel her breasts pressing against me.
She wasn’t letting go. She kissed my ear, whispering, Can you feel that energy, Craig? Can you?
I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t really move, at all. I was stuck. Anna says I responded in a cracked voice, but I don’t remember saying anything back (we spoke on the phone a few days ago).
I was harder than Chinese algebra.
Her hands moved to confirm her suspicion, and I felt like I was going to vomit. It was the most vulnerable I have ever been. I’d had erections before, but not like this. Damn! This was completely involuntary, and I was embarrassed. As her body pressed strongly against mine, her hand went to unbutton my jeans. I finally made an audible sound.
What the fuck are you doing? I squeaked, breaking the mood.
Anna grabbed my lower jaw and sighed, Craig, just relax. I am going to make you feel really good. I want you to orgasm too, but I want to bring you there.
This bitch was speaking French for all I knew. I didn’t understand anything she was saying. But her eyes were intense and purposeful.
Right then and there, a group of our classmates herded by us. Everyone was at the game. They saw us pressed against one another. It looked exactly like what it was. Anna’s hands were away from the scene of the crime, and she moved her lower body to hide my bulging erection which was now disappearing like Mitt Romney from an election defeat. Gone.
When at school the next day, I avoided Anna.
The entire day I was teased about being with her. Guys were absolutely perplexed, but chicks were brutal. They claimed Anna to be fucking every guy on the planet. AIDS was still a very scary and new disease only homosexuals got from openly disobeying God, but girls were not shy about Anna probably having AIDS. And when Anna saw me, I went in the opposite direction.
Anna found me after practice, waiting for me at our usual spot.
Her face was pale and her eyes pink from crying. She called out to me. I wanted to ignore her, but I couldn’t.
She drove me straight to my apartment, in silence.
She waited for me to get out.
I don’t want to marry you, Craig, Anna cried. We’re friends. I trust you. I thought you trusted me. Are you really going to believe the idiotic groups?
I didn’t know what to say. She was upset, but she also seemed resigned to the fact I was just another shitty guy. I had one foot out of the car, and my duffle bag was already on my shoulder.
I got out.
The car was running, and Anna reached over to make sure my door locked.
If we’re going to go for a drive, I have to change, I said. Can you wait?
She parked and came inside. The ritual was for her to wait downstairs while I went upstairs and showered. Not this time. She was emotional, and tears slid down her gorgeous cheeks. I didn’t have the vocabulary to explain what I was doing, and I didn’t realize what a radical, life-changing decision I was making by taking her upstairs. I just knew it was right.
I went to the shower while I presumed Anna was still lying on my bed. When I was fully under the water, the door opened. I drew the curtains, and standing in my bathroom was something out of a dream. She remains one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen naked. She was more naked than anyone has ever been naked. Nude. Buck, fucking naked. Perfect, symmetrical lines. A vision.
We didn’t speak.
Soap. Water. Kisses. Nothing more.
We dressed in front of one another. That was so personal. I hadn’t seen anyone put on panties before. I hadn’t helped to clasp a bra. She sat at my feet and asked I brush her wet hair. It was a deepening of our friendship, as odd as that probably reads.
For the rest of our time together, I was so honored to be her friend. I learned to love her, holding her hand, hugging her without shame, and to defend her to friends.
When someone asked if we were going out, I remember quoting Anna’s magnificent lines back to them. What we have is too special to explain to you. It is ours, and ours alone. We won’t share it with anyone. It isn’t anyone’s business.
It was months before we had another semi-sexual encounter.
I would have flashes back to how beautiful her body was, and I often explored her in my dreams. But I never tried a thing when we were together. I never asked her for another session. I just learned to appreciate what a gift she was in my life. I learned that appreciation because Anna taught me how to appreciate her. It was all Anna’s doing.
When her parents went to Australia, Anna called me and asked me to come over and sleep with her. Ordinarily, sleeping with any chick would mean what a casual reader might expect. But with Anna, it meant she didn’t want to be alone. She just wanted me to spoon with her, cuddle. I was fine with it. Again, my mother worked all hours, so it was nice to have someone else around. And Anna was more than someone around. Hahahahaha.
We’d arrive to school, together, in her car. We’d share the same breakfast muffin, the same juice. Rumors started. I was a stud. She was a slut. She was pregnant. We were secretly married. I was paying her. She was a hooker. You name it. It was all out there.
The last night before her parents came home, Anna expressed how lonely it would be without me there. She wished I could live with her. It was pretty fucking cool to be with her, I’ll admit. Not only was she hot and incredibly smart, but she also could cook. She was good at everything.
That night, she broke out a bottle of hair dye. It was royal blue. That’s right, royal blue. This simply wasn’t done, dear reader. Not at this time. Nowadays, chicks dye their hair every which way. Not then. Maybe as a joke, but never as a fashion statement. Anna wanted to dye a thick, long streak of her hair royal blue. The front of her hair. We monkeyed around with bleach, dye, and managed to get the look she wanted. It was the most radical thing I’d ever seen on another person. It was revolutionary. Looking back, it was nothing. But at that moment she was a personal revelation.
Craig, she asked suddenly, are you gay?
Gay? Like liking hairy ass? Like liking dicks? Gay? Me?
You never try to touch me, Craig. I have to initiate everything. Don’t you want to touch me and kiss me? she worriedly asked.
When I told her I didn’t know how to touch her, she immediately began to undress. Looking out from behind that blue streak, she asked me to approach her. She asked me to lay her down. She spread her legs, and she began to explain how to make her cum by using my mouth and fingers. Her flat stomach moved up and down as she gave instructions, and her arms formed a diamond at the top of her head as if to give me the go ahead signal.
I did okay.
It wasn’t as easy as I hoped, and she’d grab my head and belt out, DO NOT STOP! every once in a while. And when I figured out she hated and simultaneously loved anticipation, I teased her and made her beg. That was all me. No one had to teach me that. Hahahaha.
When her legs shook and her torso buckled, all the while pulling my hair and scratching my shoulders, I knew I’d done something right – over and over again. In addition to all of her other qualities, she was multiorgasmic.
By the end, my face looked like a glazed doughnut.
She was exhausted. We took a shower and went to sleep.
THE ANARCHY OF LOVE
She refused to say she loved me, and by this she meant to save that word from its base uses, like loving a brand of soda or a rock band.
We never quite had intercourse either, no genital to genital penetration anyway. She had me test all of her buttons, but that particular way just wasn’t in the cards for us. I never cared, to be honest. She would bring me to climax various ways, and after a while I didn’t really notice what we weren’t doing. Looking back, I find it strange. But at the time it made its own certain kind of sense.
Two lessons stuck with me and help define me for the rest of my life. One, women are insanely sexual, and that’s a good and wonderful thing. They love sex. Thankfully that wasn’t beaten out of Anna through religion or society. Though many, many people tried to label her and get her to adapt to their standards, Anna blissfully ignored them. That was such a powerful example for me. I didn’t realize how rare a quality that is in a person. I remember her saying to me, Craig, I don’t do things I think are wrong. I don’t get a thrill out of being naughty.
Anna made sex and that impulse normal and wonderful.
She also introduced a word to me, haunting my adult life for as long as I can remember.
No one told us to be together. No central planning. No gods. No masters. It’s the anarchy of love, Craig, and it’s beautiful. It’s like language or people trading ideas with one another. We developed our own physical language and our own ideas, and no one told us to do that. Spontaneous order is beautiful, Craig. We are beautiful together.
And I mean it.