Friday, April 16, 2010

My Jazz Baby

There she is again, gaping at the overflowing shelves of Jazz literature, like a stubborn sheep that has spent too long roaming about freely. I am muscular now, Master. Actually Master, no one is my Master because I have walked alone all summer, doing what I want, Master!

It’s ridiculous. Since I remember, she has been filling up this place with her humming bedroom-voice which if you ask me, is not exactly appropriate for a 14-year-old. Every week she drags with her another bagful of those books –James Baldwin, Gary Giddens, Andy Jones and all that Jazz. Literally. I never see her returning them, but I imagine them piling up around her – over her and under her; next to her pale and shimmering pre-teen body. She must have collected far more books on Jazz literature than pieces of clothing. Poor thing. I wonder if anyone will ever want to kiss her. Hello, red-head, would you let me pull down your stockings? Or what are they, football socks? And that out-washed jean jacket and that obviously fake purplish-red hair, like she never had a mother or a sister or even a pretend-to-be friend who enlightened her about the truth? I like the little half pony-tail, though. It perks up every day from the back of her head, as if to say hello to me personally, and then it flows down like a baby fountain. Or a bird fount, like the one Elise has put out in our front yard, to make our property more attractive and more frequented. More frequented? By birds or by her Chardonnay friends?

Oh, the pony-tail is moving; dancing salsa for me. I wonder if the Jazz girl can dance, too. I picture us in a slow wienerwaltz; sweeping across the room as synchronised as one of those broomsticks that comes alive in a Disney movie. Then a bouncy but sensual salsa, followed by the dramatic tango; her tiny plum breasts rubbing against my torso, a blood red single rose in my mouth. And then finally the Jazz, of course. Armstrong is purring about what a wonderful world it is and Rita Hayworth wants me to dream a little dream of her. Oh yes, I am dreaming baby. The room is spinning and I look up to see tiny hummingbirds singing love songs above our interlinked bodies; my nose buried in her purplish hair. Ah, it smells of youth!

The next moment she is wrapping her legs around one of mine, like a horny poodle, and rubbing her genitals against my thigh. Just a bit higher, Jazz baby, just a bit higher! She is riding me, naked in her football socks; her pony tail bouncing up and down in joy – telling me harder, faster, louder! I am her shepherd boy, her bull beyond taming. Come here little Jazz sheep, come to your bull-boy; come be my Matadoresse!


She turns around and gives me a surprising look.
-‘Did you say anything?’
No one is my Master, because I am my own Master, Master.
-‘Me?’ I look behind me, pretending to look for whoever had uttered that made-up word. ‘No, not me’... I go back to my book, turning the front page 90 degrees upwards to hide my blushing cheeks.
-‘Oh, it sounded like a Jazz term’... Disappointment; her entire body speaks of it. Then she walks right past me, five thick books in her lap; with her holiday smile and that distant look that goes through doors, people and buildings. She glances over at me and her smile dies. I don’t look up, just let her leave quietly and painlessly; intently staring into my Beast and the Blonde behind the counter. The bell tinkles distantly as the door to the bookshop closes behind her.

She will be back, I sigh; feeling relieved. She will be back for more Jazz.

Ms G.

My name is Ms G. G, like giraffe. Well, no, not really G. like Giraffe because then my name would be not Ms G. but Ms Zs, like giraffe. And it’s not Ms Zs but Ms G. Like Joe. Which of course I can’t say when someone asks me to spell my name, because then they would write my name with a J and that would lead to never ending administrative troubles. So I say, G like giraffe when they ask me to spell my name.

I already have enough problems with the administration here. For example, they didn’t want to let me name my son after my great grandfather. My great grandfather was called Stalin, but before you start questioning the ideological background of my family, I have to clarify that we are facing a pure coincidence here: Stalin in my language means: a walnut with a very strong taste. And in my region the tradition is to name our sons after our great grandfathers. So when they didn’t let me name my son after my great grandfather, I asked them:

‘What shall I name him then?’

And they suggested me to call him Jan or Hans. But these names were too short for my taste, so I named him Jan Hans. Jan Hans Dosztojevszkij.

I am not in any family relations with Dosztojevszkij, the writer, I’m not even from Russia. I’m from Hungary. My surname is a chosen name. It was chosen in a bookstore. On the day after I arrived to Brussels, on the day when I met Stijn. I don’t meet Stijn anymore, he doesn’t even know about the existence of Jan Hans, his first born.

The day after I arrived here from Hungary, my heart was full of huge expectations about finding a job in Western Europe and becoming rich, making my high school classmates pee their pants when I would arrive back to our 20 years of anniversary in a limousine. But I knew that with the name Kovacs, I wouldn’t get far. Kovacs means Smith in Hungarian, and every third Hungarian is called Kovacs in my region. Although I knew that probably there wouldn’t be many Kovacses in Belgium, I still felt that with such an ordinary name, even if it’s only ordinary in my head, I would’t get far. I learned English and French from schoolbooks and read every book that was in English and French in the regional library, and I thought that the language wouldn’t be a problem, but the name would be. I was wrong. About the language. But this is another story.

So I decided that I had to change my name first if I wanted to get somewhere. But I had no idea of course what new name I should get. So I went to this bookstore that was next to the youth hostel, and that’s where I met Stijn. But this is another story, and I will tell it later, when we’ll have more time. So I was there, looking at the books and waiting for inspiration to find a proper name for my new life. The day before I was talking to the waitress in the bar where I spent my first evening in Brussels. She told me that one day she changed her name from Louise to Louisa in a cafeteria. Just like that. It seemed so simple. But I wanted a more drastic change. Kovacs Eva, that was my name when I entered the bookstore. I wanted to be someone glamorous when I got through the exit. Or at least someone with the hope of glamour.

So, there I was, looking at the books. I was wearing my long tennis socks. Nothing glamorous. Yet. I read a bit of the history of homosexuals, and got a bit excited, God knows why. Or God probably doesn’t know why, but that’s another story. I mean, it’s not even a story. It’s nothing. Why did I say this?

Oh yes, my name, my name, and my son’s name. So there I was, standing, and looking at the name of writers on books and at the name of characters in books. And then, there was this guy, I tell you it was Stijn but of course by then I didn’t know who he was, although a minute later I knew his name was Stijn, because he told me, so if you wait patiently fot a minute we will get there with the story. Although you already know that his name was Stijn, because I mentioned it several times, so you won’t be surprised. Which is a pity because one of the secrets of good story telling is to make the listener surprised and keep him excited, isn’t it? Are you excited? Yes you are, but I mean excited not because we lay naked next to each other, but to hear the rest of the story?

Are you sleeping? Haha. You said that you wanted to pay me to talk to you and not for the sex, and then you fall asleep? Then you get nothing for your money. That’s silly.

So, there I was, standing in front of the books. And there was that man, that tall, handsome, Belgian man, whose name I did not know, but he smelled very good.

And then he said: Are you looking for something in particular or something in general?

And I said: Something very particular. I look for a new name for myself,

But he didn’t understand what I was saying because of my accent.

So I said it again phonetically and then he understood and laughed and suggested the name: Borat, which I found funny, because I saw the movie and I understood that he was making a joke of my accent.

‘Do you have any suggestions? I asked him phonetically,

And he took a book from the bookshelf and gave to me:

‘How about this?’

‘Fjodor Mihajlovics?’ I asked him.

‘No, let’s skip the first names. The surname I mean, Dosztojevszkij.

And because by the time he said this I was already in love, for I don’t need much to fall in love, I said:

‘Splendid’, with a British accent that didn’t work out very well. ‘And how about my first name?’

‘Gina’, he said. ‘Gina Dosztojevszkij.’

‘Why Gina?’

‘Because you remind me of Gina Lollobrigida,’ he said.

‘What’s your name?’ I asked him.

‘Stijn.You know, like Stijn King. The writer.’

You’re laughing now, and I know why. I exactly know that I don’t look like Gina Lollobrigida. If you have to choose a famous person that I resemble, then I rather look like Robespierre under the guillotine. And when he said that I remind him of the pretty actress, I knew that he wanted sex so desperately that he didn’t even mind to take the first little creature that came along. Even if it was me, Ms Robespierre under the guillotine.

Gina. Gina Dosztojevszkij.

So. We had sex and it was good and I was happy on my second day in Brussels. I had a new name and a new lover: Stijn. He was a lover, even if only for one night, cause why would the length of time spent together define a lover? I think that a person who you loved even for a minute was your lover. You are my lover, because I loved you for a second when you asked me how much I cost for one night with that bad child smile on your face.

Of course I never met Stijn again, which wasn’t too surprising but it still hurt like hell. It did hurt because he was my lover, and losing even a minute lover hurts like losing the love of your life, even if it only hurts like that for a minute, and not for the rest of your life.

And that’s why Jan Hans’ name is Jan Hans Dosztojevszkij. But I still call him Stalin at home. Do you want to meet him once? Are you sleeping?