the diplomat’s boy, an encounter
They were a German family who moved into the Dover heights mansion in 1953. The father a diplomat, the mother a delicate and feminine feast of perfume, make-up and the rustle of rich clothing.
He was a quiet-spoken man who always left the house early and returned late – The staff cooked and cleaned, the chauffer drove, all of the rooms in the home were silent during the day.
There was never a knowing as to who was there.
Lunch appeared every day at 12.30, laid out in the dining room under silver. New flowers appeared early every morning on all the mantles and the hall table, the grand piano remained silent, the house was ever hushed.
Upstairs their only child, a youth of fourteen, a boy, festered alone in his blossoming sexuality.
His bedroom was one of five opening onto a long upstairs hallway – the other four were bare of furniture; empty places with their windows long closed and the dust of past tenants laid filmy on the window-sills and floor. One room held the redolent odour of an ancient human decay.
Every day the mother sat by a small window in the drawing room nursing her everlasting grievances. She sometimes sewed, othertimes she wept a silent and shuddering sorrow.
He had a copy of a book called A Woman in Berlin, a memoir or diary of sorts of a woman who lived through the Nazi occupation of Berlin
He had the more sexually explicit paragraphs marked, their grubbed up page corners folded over.
The husband would sometimes arrive home in the mid-afternoon and take coffee with his wife. He knelt before her once and offered her a posy of flowers and fern and she did not turn her head to him. He was silver haired by now and had furrows of grief about his eyes.
The boy would lay naked on his bed reading of the woman’s life of appeasement and subjugation. He had a jar of Vaseline by the bedside that he used to facilitate his daylong masturbation sessions.
Occasionally he would roll off the bed and walk over to a small desk where he kept a few pencils and an exercise book and there he would sit and draw images of stick figures fucking –
Over in the outdoor gym by the North Bondi surfclub a couple of men are exercising – big men, all hugely muscled and roped all around their limbs with heavy veins.
They move with the slow grace of a physical master race as they follow their heavy lifting routines – He is one of them, almost unrecognisable but for his fair hair and pleasant face, his ready smile still evident.
The boy who invited me onto his bed ten years earlier.
Not so lonely now.