Jefferson spied the blinking of monitors in a darkened gallery front across the street.
“Hey, something’s going on over there. Let’s go look.”
We walked into the space, which was a cacophonous mass of screens, strobe lights and tableaux. We tried to make sense of it all, we really did. But after about five minutes he said, “I’m gonna go find out what the fuck this IS.”
I stayed and roamed around, feeling a little icky and sick from the images and sounds. There were photographs of young people dressed in costumes, like, really stupid costumes. A teenaged girl was singing, badly. A desk and table spun like dervishes, attached to the floor. There were video screens showing two dance troupes in leotards performing identical choreography. I was at once drawn to it and hated it.
He returned with a smirk. “Know what it is?”
“Yeah, you know, I think it’s Hell.”
“Close, baby. It’s High School.”
It was kind of awful. And unsettling. The artist had collected photos from high school yearbooks and recreated the scenes for the installation. The old photos were mounted side by side with the recreations. Scary. I half expected Sissy Spacek to show up around the next corner, covered in blood.
We signed the guestbook “Jefferson and Madeline” and left to catch the sunset near the Chelsea Piers.
As we made our way to Babeland we stopped at our last gallery of the evening: Deitch Projects' gallery on Grand Street. The small space was filled with enormous canvases by Kehinde Wiley. The paintings were revisions of classic paintings of generals on horseback such as Jacques-Louis David’s Napoleon Crossing the Alps, except that the general's hat and coat had been replaced by a bandana and a basketball jersey. In all the paintings the models were young black men from Harlem.
The details were amazing; and even more impressive when we watched the short film on the making of the exhibit. The men were approached on the street by Wiley and asked to pose for the paintings. Horses and trainers were brought in to recreate the poses of the original works. Pretty damn impressive, considering that none of the men had ever been on a horse and here they were, saddled up, while stallions pranced and reared.
Wiley's art is full of the familiar postures of religious and historical figures in every Art History text. His twist is the replacement of the subject. Even in recreating serene scenes like Raphael's The Three Graces Wiley places black men in an atypical role, a study of masculine beauty, power and an underlying vulnerability.
These canvases were eight feet tall and taller. It was truly stunning. Beautiful, sexy, powerful and smart. Nice way to round out the art thing. And Deitch has a fantastic stable of artists. Be sure to go look next time you’re in SoHo.
We stepped up to Babeland’s door. I have never seen a toy store so busy. The place was packed, but I knew just what I wanted. We weaved between middle aged women learning about the merits of silicone sex toys and college students stocking up on condoms and lube and made a beeline to the rear of the store.
I scanned the display for the Terra Firma Buckling Harness and then decided it would be best to enlist some help. We were on a schedule, after all, and thus far had arrived on time or even slightly early for our engagements. We couldn’t be late for Viviane’s dinner party.
The girl who came to my assistance was totally helpful (they all are, really. If you’ve never been to Babeland, you should go in just for the customer service). She found the harness I wanted and offered to let me try it on “over clothes, of course.”
“Would your friend like to come into the dressing room, too?”
“Excuse me, ‘friend,’ would you care to join me?”
Jefferson and I walked in and I hung up my coat. I wasn’t wearing panties, so I put the harness on over my jeans. I stepped into it, buckling the straps and pulling it tight. Jefferson took his black house dildo out of the bag we’d packed and I shoved it through the O ring.
“Oh, my, honey, that is hot.”
“Right? I look so fucking tough!”
“Uh-huh. Viviane’s not gonna know what hit her.”
I shot him a look, posing with my dick.
“Shit, Maddie, with the right dong, I might even let you fuck me with that thing.”
At the counter, the helpful salesperson sent another Babelander to pull my harness from the stock drawers. I picked up another nice little double bullet vibrator with interchangeable jacks and separate controls for each egg. Quite nice, pretty, and a steal.
We were the first to arrive at Viviane’s, who was pleasantly surprised that we got there before anyone else.
“It’s me,” I shrugged, “Jefferson’s clock just doesn’t run like ours, honey.”
We kissed her hello. A bottle of white wine was opened and we all poured a glass.
“Salut, baby. Here’s to a good evening.”
Jefferson put his eggs on to boil and started cooking bacon. Viv was chopping Brussels sprouts and I stood at the other end of the kitchen next to Jefferson, marveling at the pork sizzling in the skillet.
Dacia arrived, bearing a box of cupcakes and looking hot. It was our first meeting, but I’ll echo her sentiment that it really didn’t feel that way.
But let me just wax a bit about this girl.
The first thing I noticed after her boots, naturally, was that she is tall. Okay, I’m short, but she has this great combination of willowy height and brick shithouse going on. Long legs, long torso, long fingers with an ass and tits that must have superpowers.
Yeah, I’ve had a little crush on Dacia. What’s not to like? She’s hot and smart and comfortable in her skin. Jefferson adores her. Of course, I hoped she’d like me a little.
We stood around the kitchen as the dinner preparations continued. Dacia sipped her bourbon and inquired after the Babeland shopping bag by the door.
“Well, Madeline just bought herself a new harness,” Jefferson said.
“Ooooh! Does this mean Jefferson is gonna get…”
“Not so fast, missy! But, you know, she really did want to get it before we came to visit Viviane tonight.”
Viviane smirked as she chopped and shot me a look.
Seth, Dacia’s boyfriend, who we were all meeting for the first time, arrived. I poured him a glass of wine and we all hung out in the kitchen.
Seth (Can I wax a little on Seth, too?) has a very cool exterior. He looks very tough with his full sleeve tattoos on each arm and is clearly not to be messed with. Still, all I could think was how cute he was, how cute they were together, all smitten and such. He was genuine and interesting and nice. Well, he’s also sexy, but that’s got to be a given, right?
Dacia, Seth and I went to the living room with our drinks.
Viviane proffered olives stuffed with almonds. Seth politely declined, saying that they’re one of only two foods he doesn’t like.
“What’s the other food?” I asked.
“Hard boiled eggs.”
I nearly choked on my drink.
“Jesus, the two foods you don’t like are both being served tonight! That is rich.”
Being a good sport, though, Seth tried one of the olives and a deviled egg, several of which slid to the carpet when Jefferson brought them to the coffee table. We all watched in glee as Dacia made Jefferson lick yellow filling off her boot.
Viviane called from the kitchen, “Maddie! Come help me cut up the bacon!”
I stood at attention hearing her call my name and made haste to the kitchen. It was almost Pavlovian.
The bacon was awesome, having retained its shape and thickness. I cut it into little pieces and brought some out to Dacia. She ate it out of my hand. I licked the remaining ‘bacon juice’ from my palm.
Oh, it was a good evening.
Dinner was served. There was pork tenderloin, rubbed with garlic and fennel and Viviane’s Brussels sprouts sautéed with bacon.
Another bottle of wine was opened by yours truly.
Dacia demanded to see my tits.
I flashed her. I love my tits; I can’t help it. And it was only fair, really, since we’ve all seen hers.
Viviane was gracious.
Seth was engaging.
Jefferson was on.
I ate my food as Jefferson’s hand reached under the table for my leg. He was around the corner, so it was a stretch. I put my legs in his lap and he played with my toes.
When Seth announced that he had to go to work, we were all sad. Dacia walked him out.
We gushed about him when she came back.
Cos he’s so cute.
“Okay, stop, you guys…”
“Shall I serve the cupcakes?” Viv yelled from the kitchen.
“Hell, yes you should! Bring ‘em on!”
“I have milk, too…who wants milk?”
Dacia: I’ve got bourbon, who needs milk?
Madeline: Me, too. Bourbon and cupcakes…yum.
Jefferson: I’m staying with my drink of choice. No point in switching now, is there?
Soon I was convinced, though I’m not sure by whom, that I should model the new harness. I undressed in the bathroom and stepped into it. I couldn’t get the leg straps tight, and the hip strap was loose as well, even though it was buckled through the last hole. I figured it was a simple matter of my being a bit drunk. I shrugged and walked out to the living room asking for help, I couldn’t get the straps tight enough and oh, who could help me?
Viviane jumped up and went looking for her sewing basket. Dacia said something about growing a bigger ass. Jefferson sat in the leather chair.
Not finding the seam ripper she wanted to use to poke more holes in the straps, Viviane helped me tie up the leg straps. I was naked but for the black leather, leaning over the back of Jefferson’s chair during a conversation and he, while speaking, absentmindedly reached back and fingered my clit. I leaned forward and kissed him. Viviane and Dacia smiled at us. It was getting warm in the apartment.
Dacia had to leave.
“Oh, can’t you stay a little longer?” Viviane asked
“Nope, I promised the boy that I wouldn’t stay for the rest of the festivities. Looks like fun, though. Have at it, folks!”
We all stood and kissed her goodbye.
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