The Don Quixote Piece
"Jake kneaded the inside of China's left thigh. Jake kneaded the inside of China's left thigh until he felt the knot of China's sartorious loosen, until he had smoothed the muscle into the long slender muscle it was, until it was loose and China had stopped moaning from the pain. Once it was smooth and pliable, Jake ruffled his hands along the rest of China's left leg to feel for more muscle tightnesses, more tendon knots. China's legs were long and painfully toned. The muscles in them quivered with their fresh exertion. China's flesh was pink and healthy and flushed. The skin was still rich with a roiling blood. Jake massaged along China's right leg then for tightnesses and knots. There were none. No more tightnesses. No more knots. But he found himself stroking her legs anyway, continuing to stroke her legs anyway. He found himself exploring the form and slope and knoll of China's quadriceps and calves, the sinews of her knees. He found himself feeling China, in fact, as if she were some old master's sculpture, as if even perhaps he were himself China's sculptor and could finger into her quadriceps that long deep indentation, into her calves that texture of venous strength. And so smooth, Jake thought, as he massaged her, like marble. And so warm and perfect, Jake thought. Cream, Jake thought. An Ingres Odalisque. The Rokeby Venus."
And the door at the entrance slammed shut.
And Jacob stopped pounding the keys.
He looked up to see Lucia the French girl storming onto the stage of the living area. She trembled there for a moment sweaty, wild-eyed. Then she threw her coat onto the floor. Then she threw her bag onto the sofa.
"C'est imposible!" she shouted up at him, waving her fist.
Jacob rose from his chair.
Lucia the French girl dropped onto the sofa and began tugging at her pointe shoes. She was still in her pointe shoes.
"Je m'en vais!" she shrieked. "Je demissionne!"
And Jacob took three steps down into the dining area, watching still Lucia the French girl, watching her frenetic movements. This was to be expected, he thought. Lucia quit at least once per show. It was the corps parts, he concluded.
She had freed herself then of her pointe shoes. She jerked up and raged toward the bathroom. Lucia flicked on the light there. She glared into the mirror. She burst into tears. A moment later Jacob hovered behind her, his hands on her shoulders. Jacob waited for Lucia to say something but she just kept crying. Finally, squeezing Jacob's left hand with hers, Lucia the French girl swiveled to the right and opened the shower valve. When she turned back and looked into the mirror she hissed at Jacob, "That ballet master is a bastard."
Jacob beamed a prodigious guffaw.
Lucia the French girl laughsobbed.
The crisis ebbed.
And, more pouting now, Lucia the French girl quite unconsciously and naturally pealed from herself her leotard. She wheeled from the mirror and wrapped her arms around Jacob's neck. She kissed him with a big wet snotty kiss and said, "Thank you, my Jacob." And then she gave him another kiss, and then the hug lasted a moment more, and then Jacob watched through the mirror as Lucia's taut nakedness eased through the steamy air and into the steaming water.
A sound found him from without.
The front door latching.
Jacob was relieved.