Tsunami & Blossoms

Steve Minkin writes in Brattleboro Vermont


A Night in Paris

Their first stop was Fernande’s luxurious Paris apartment.

“ We need to establish some ground rules if you and I, a woman and a man, will travel together.”

Jean-Baptiste readily agreed.

She then began drawing her bath and undressing in front of him.

“The first rule,” she said is that we have a buddy system in the bathtub. That is we ALWAYS,” pausing for effect while removing her bra, “ALWAYS, bathe together.”

Fernande removed her slip.

“Do you understand rule one – any questions?”

“No Madame,” he replied completely bewildered.

Now completely naked, Fernande poured bubble bath into the tub.

“I hope you like bubbles,” she laughed.

“Oui Madame, I do.” 

“Then is it your custom to bathe with your shoes and shocks on or do you want me to undress you?”

The tub was huge.  The sound of water running from the taps carried Jean- Baptiste to a waterfall where he and Chantal his childhood sweetheart swam naked together. For an enchanted moment life was as innocent as it must have been in the Garden of Eden.

“Now we will kiss,” Chantal ordered, “just like the grown-ups.”

They stood directly under the waterfall so that its full force landed on their heads. With closed mouths and holding their noses they pressed their lips together and stayed that way until they ran out of breath. It felt good and they did it again and again almost every day for two weeks until her little sister squealed on them.

They were punished and forbidden from ever playing together.

Fernande lighted candles and dimmed the lights before slipping into the tub and resting her head on one of two pillows. This gave Jean-Baptiste time to quickly undress and slide in beside her.

“The water is hot,” she mumbled, “I hope you like it hot,” were her last words before falling asleep. Jean-Baptiste wondered what was expected of him. Should he kiss her or touch her breasts or simply watch over her as she dreamed.

“The second rule,” she told him after dinner, “is like the first. We have to sleep together, n’est-ce pas, we have a buddy system in bed.”

By this time the term buddy began to have a whole new meaning. Perhaps all Fernande wanted was the playmate she too had lost as a child.

“And my dear friend there is a third rule. Every morning when I wake up you must bring me a hot cup of tea, strong, no milk, two sugars. Oh and the newspapers. The concierge leaves them outside the door promptly at 7:30.”

Dressed only in earplugs and a facemask, Fernande was out cold in less than thirty seconds. She told him not to wake her up before ten-thirty.  Jean-Baptiste on the other hand was restless all night. His skin cooled by the touch of blue satin sheets roasted on a bed of red hot hell-fires.

Jean-Baptiste jumped out of bed the moment he heard the sound of the concierge in the hallway. Naked he scooped up the newspapers, his right foot holding the door ajar.

He was horrified to read, “Earthquake Tsunami Strike Japan. Nuclear Radiation Risk Feared.” The earthquake measured 8.9 far more powerful than the one that he survived at home in Haiti.

The door slammed behind him. He was locked out and naked in a luxury apartment building in wealthy section of Paris. Yet he felt totally detached from his own situation. Love radiated in the glow of trillions of cells; droplets of compassion evaporated out of every pore

Unfortunately these facts were lost on Mme. Pappadeaux. At the very moment of Jean-Baptist’s enlightenment, she was being pulled towards the elevator by two large, powerful poodles. Their bladders stretched to within a millimeter of exploding.

“Call the police,” she shouted to the doorman as she and the dogs scurried outside. “Tell them that a naked man …is levitating …in front of apartment… 12 C.”