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Monday, July 12, 2010

another gentleLena

There once was a woman who traveled the world.

However, her adventures abroad afforded her neither sightsee nor souvineer; the mementos of her journeys were all in her mind and her skin.

As a child the woman traveled in books. Away from the sometimes seasons of her rural surroundings she escaped to and from the Occident. She was alone, the omniscient puppeteer to her self-built planet.

Thus, in spite of her solitude, or perhaps because of it, her life was exceedingly full.

As the child grew (her name was Lena), she grew tall and also away from books and into sound. She had read the world and now wanted to hear it. She knew what all of the cities sounded like. She knew what music the people who lived in them made love to.

Lena wanted to make love to the world now. She longed to experience the musical cities but was afraid to leave her own. She felt alone.

Thus, in spite of her solitude, or perhaps because of it, her life was exceedingly dull.

Lena decided to make love to the world then. She made herself beautiful. She looked exotic even though she wasn't. Finding lovers was easy for her. She knew them all already.

Her lovers were from all different places but always artists. She did not want to be an artist. She wanted to love an artist. She took a job at a gallery where she could always be displayed, a living work of art in striped dresses and heeled boots.

One lover was from Italy. He sent her a bouquet of roses every month. She let them die but let him come to her. He liked knee socks. Lena let him put them on her only to take them off.

"Lena," he said. "I want you to marry me."

But Lena hadn't traveled enough.

Another lover was from Russia. Lena pined for him like she had pined for no other. Thinking of his blue eyes made her wet. She got the chills. They followed him from Moscow, he said. The cold called. She never saw him again.

Lena took her Swede lover for a swim in a lake. He dared her to take off her underwear. She held them in her hand above the water and he grabbed them from her. He lost them and she was lost to him and she had to walk back to her house with no panties on under her skirt. He teased her about that. He put his hand under her skirt as they walked and they had to stop walking.

Lena loved each new lover differently. They were all special to her. She became a woman well-traveled. By her mid-20s she had gotten to all of the continents except one, and most continents more than once. She had a frenchman with beautiful hands and an Egyptian who offered to do her taxes. She invited a German to her bed and a Greek into the bathroom at a bar.

Lena's friends learned about the world from airplanes and eating. Lena learned only with her sex. Because she experienced the world so intimately she took the most intimate secrets of the world into her body. Her body showed that. Every day a new man asked her where she was from.

"Are you French?" the cashier said.

"Are you Polish?" the friend-of-a-friend said.

"Where are you from?" they all asked.

Nowhere she replied.

After seven years of this Lena started to confuse Beijing and Budapest. The scents of her lovers became one odiferous mess. She longed to belong to one place for she was Nowhere. Where is my home? she thought. I will make one of these lovers my home. I will settle into one of them.

Lena tried to settle into one but she could never stay in place. Some glacier or the ocean in floated on always called her away. She tried to ignore their calls but that only made everyone more passionate for the gentle Lena.

She stopped sleeping and only ate things that grew on trees. She disappeared into headphones and masturbated indefinitely to a perfect body composed of all her lovers.

She longed to stay even though she had really always stayed. Like a stray dog Lena wandered the globe underneath her bedsheets, which when touched revealed the perpetual wet of the world.

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