The Taboo of Oobat
Let's go for a moment to the mythical land of Oobat. In Oobat, as in our modern Western world, certain parts of the body are designated “private” and certain very natural and normal bodily actions are restricted to married couples in private. But in Oobat, a different set of parts and acts are so selected....
Dennis awoke to find the sun streaming in through the patio door, blanketing Anne's supple form with its golden light. It was Saturday, so he decided to surprise her with breakfast in bed. Pausing briefly in the bathroom, he tiptoed to the kitchen and opened the refrigerator. “A cheese omelet,” he thought, “her favorite.” He took out cheddar cheese, four eggs, and some milk. After grating some extra cheese for lunch, he started a frying pan warming, mixed the ingredients, and poured them in. While the omelet was heating, he poured two glasses of orange juice and carried them into the bedroom. “For you,” Dennis said, caressing Anne awake.
“Thank you.” She smiled as she sat up. Dennis always enjoyed seeing Anne's smile, and he was glad to be the one she had chosen to share it with.
Dennis returned to the kitchen and turned the omelet.
Breakfast over, Dennis cleared away the dishes. When he had finished loading the dishwasher he returned to the bedroom.
“I want to wash the car before the sun gets on it,” Dennis said, wrapping his bandanna over his mouth and tying it behind his neck. He tightened it beneath his nose, allowing its fitted form to gently wrap his chin.
“I'll help,” Anne said, as she veiled her lithe face. It was a warm day, so she decided to wear nothing else.
Dennis opened the garage, released the brake, and rolled the car into the driveway.
“Good Morning!” he heard his neighbor Andrea call.
“Hello, Andrea, how are you?” Dennis called back, admiring her gently curved breasts with their upright nipples. He often wondered if her lips were as beautiful.
“Fine, thank you,” Andrea replied.
Such a melodic voice, Dennis fantasized, must come from a perfect mouth. His reverie was interrupted when Anne appeared with a bucket and a sponge. “Hi, all set?” he asked.
“As ready as ever,” Anne replied cheerfully, picking up the hose. She turned on the faucet and aimed the nozzle at the car. After rinsing it, she turned the nozzle on Dennis.
“Hey careful!” Dennis called out. Anne giggled as she redirected the hose at the shrubs lining the driveway. He really didn't mind, since he was only wearing his bandanna. A balmy breeze quickly dried his body as the water dripped from his penis. He lathered the windows with the sponge Anne had tossed him, then tossed it back to her. As she caught it, bubbles flew from the sponge and settled in her pubic hair. They sparkled in the morning light like the dewdrops on the grass.
When it was time to rinse, Dennis picked up the hose and misted the car. A breeze carried the overspray straight into Anne's face. Her dampened veil clung to her lips. Dennis was so familiar with her lovely features that he could discern their form despite the veil's flowered pattern, but he was sure no one else would notice.
As Dennis and Anne toweled the car dry, George the mailman arrived. As always, his uniform was impeccable: his hat, gloves, and blue bandanna were perfectly coordinated. “You've got the old bus looking pretty good,” he complimented as he handed Dennis the mail, “and if I may say so, Anne's looking pretty nice, too.”
Dennis thanked George as he took the mail, and cast a knowing glance at Anne. She knew him well enough to understand that he was a bit proud of the way her lips shaped her dampened veil.
Dennis took the mail into the family room and sorted through it. He removed a couple of ads and tossed them into the trash, dropped the gas and electric bill on his desk, and settled down in his easy chair with his Smile magazine. He peeled off its plain brown wrapper and dropped it to the floor.
Anne came in and picked up the wrapper. “Dennis,” she admonished, “I don't really mind your reading that trash, but please don't litter the house, O.K.?”
Dennis mumbled a weak “O.K.” as he turned to the feature pictorial, “Jeannie.” In the first picture, Jeannie appeared in a long evening gown, white veil and gloves. Turning the page, Dennis admired a more risque outfit: she was simply wearing a black lace veil through which he could discern a hint of red lips. Curious now, and somewhat impatient, Dennis turned quickly to the centerfold. It was a two-page, full face portrait of Jeannie. His eyes homed in on her mouth, which was slightly ajar. He could discern the whiteness of four teeth, between which was faintly visible the pink tip of her tongue. Dennis felt his own mouth salivate at the sight before him. He rested his chin in his hand and eased his fingers under his bandanna. He felt his thumb slip between his parted lips and touch the tips of his own teeth, as his tongue gently brushed his thumbnail.
“Oh, Dennnnnis...” Anne's voice calling from the kitchen broke his fantasy. “Where'd you put the cheese?”
“On the bottom shelf of the refrigerator,” he replied, walking out to join her. He helped her finish the tuna salad and make the sandwiches.
They finished packing the lunch basket and walked together to the park. It was rather crowded, even for a spring day, but there was plenty of room to spread their blanket. Making sure her veil was secure, Anne pulled off the shift dress she had worn on the way and sat down on the blanket. Dennis dropped his shorts and stood beside her. Anne gently caressed his thighs, her hands drifting up and down between his legs. On the upstroke, her fingers brushed against his scrotum as his testicles swung to and fro. He felt a surge of warmth and fullness enter his penis as it rose gently. Dennis sat beside her and brushed lightly across her chest, marvelling at how her nipples tightened beneath his fingertips. He hugged her tight. Feeling bold, Dennis nuzzled his face next to hers, softly smacking his lips as his bandanna brushed across Anne's veil.
“Dennis, no, people are watching!” she protested.
She was right; this was a family park and such suggestive behavior was not O.K. He withdrew his face from hers and redirected his attention to her vulva. His fingers combed gently through her pubic hair. Gently his middle finger dipped into her dampness and worked its way up to her clitoris. He made small circles around it, at first gently, then more firmly, until finally Anne gasped in ecstasy. Dennis knew she was ready. He gently laid her down on the blanket and dragged his penis lightly across her chest, down her belly, and positioned it above her vagina. She grasped it and gently guided its firmness into her. Dennis pumped in and out until he felt that familiar satisfaction of his gushing semen. Now totally relaxed, he collapsed into Anne's arms and fell asleep.
Dennis awoke to feel the warm sun on his back, buttocks, and legs. He reached out instinctively to caress Anne, letting his hand graze across her soft, tanned breasts. His fingers drifted toward her face, but he stopped short of her veil, realizing there was a volleyball game in the nearby court, and they were in plain sight of the players. Dennis sat up instead, and leaned back to watch the game. Anne followed his eyes. “Look at the muscles on that man,” she remarked, pointing to young man in a green bandanna on the right side of the court. His chest hair was as thick as his pubic hair, and his thighs and buttocks tightened as he jumped for the ball. “And look how his bandanna bulges just below his nose. I wonder if he has a mustache.”
By noon they were getting hungry. They took their lunch and carried it to the snack bar, in search of a booth in which to eat. But the sign said, “These booths reserved for customers only. Picnickers please use west building.” Dennis knew where it was, so he led Anne by the hand. They entered its long, dark hallway and soon found an empty booth. Securing the door, Anne unpacked the lunch. Dennis and Anne had often dreamed about moving to the country, in the hopes of finding a sufficiently remote spot where they would have enough privacy to eat outdoors. But the superior employment prospects of the city held them captive.
Soon they had finished, and prepared to return outside. “Wait,” Anne said, wiping her mouth and adjusting her veil. “O.K., now we can go.”
As they neared the playground, Dennis noticed that the pressure in his bladder was beginning to rise. Looking around, he saw a urinal next to the playground and stopped to pee. He idly watched the traffic on McNamara Blvd as relief came. “Anne, look!” he called. “There's our old car!” Sure enough, there was the car they had sold three months ago. “I'd know that dent anywhere,” he pointed out, “Remember when we got that?”
Anne did indeed remember. They got that dent on their wedding night. After the ceremony Dennis had been in such a hurry to get to their first dinner together that he had driven into a parked truck.
Dennis flushed the urinal and took Anne's hand. They sat down to watch a softball game for a while, but the sun was growing too intense and Anne suggested they go home.
“Sure, after I get a drink,” Dennis said. On the way out of the park they walked by the Recreation Center. In back there were two big doors. Dennis opened the one labelled “MEN.” Inside, there was a line of drinking fountains between the usual privacy partitions. Dennis stepped up to one, lifted his bandanna, turned on the water, and drank. Refreshed, he secured his bandanna. As he emerged, Anne was waiting for him. She took his hand and they began their walk home.
Dennis was working on his model airplane when the jangling of the telephone interrupted him from his concentration. “Anne, will you get that?” he called.
“Sure,” she replied, and soon enough the ringing stopped. In a few minutes Anne appeared in the doorway, with her hand cupping the microphone. “It's the Jacobs,” she said. “They want to know if we can come and play with them tonight.”
“That sounds like fun,” Dennis answered. “What time did they have in mind?”
“Eight O'clock,” Anne replied. “That will give you time to finish your model, and...” Anne's voice hushed to a whisper as she continued coyly, “we can even get a little F.O.O.D. before we go.” Dennis chuckled and nodded. Anne returned to the telephone and her voice regained its volume. “Eight O'clock sounds fine,” she said. “Anything we can bring?”
Dennis watched Anne's veil flutter as she spoke. While he didn't know what she had in mind for dinner, he always looked forward to eating with her, and his mouth watered at the thought.
It was 8:15 p.m. as Anne turned the car into Bob and Serena Jacobs' driveway. It was the first time Dennis had seen their new home, a spacious old three-story structure in an established neighborhood. “Looks like they're moving up in the world,” he remarked.
“Yes, they are,” Anne replied. “Did you know what they paid for that house?”
Dennis reflected a moment. “Serena must be doing well in her professorship,” he said. He had known Serena from the days when he was a secretary in the registrar's office.
Dennis grasped the wrought-iron gate and opened it for Anne. It creaked loudly. As they approached the front door, Serena opened it for them. “Hello,” she said softly. Her long blonde hair fell from a sparkling white beret and framed her blue eyes and lily-white veil. Her floor-length dress was equally white. Its low-cut front exposed beautifully rounded tanned breasts, with copper nipples contrasting with the tips of hair which cascaded over them. White gloves graced her long, slender hands, and just met her ruffled sleeves. Her shapely bare feet peeked out from below the edges of her skirt. “Come in,” she beckoned.
“Don't mind if we do,” answered Dennis, in his usual style of speaking for Anne as well as himself. Anne stepped through the door, and Dennis followed.
Bob came down the stairs. “Hi, Anne; hi, Dennis,” he said warmly. He was wearing a navy-blue sailor cap, red checked bandanna, western shirt, and blue jeans. Leather gloves completed his outfit.
“I didn't know it was formal. May I make myself at home?” Dennis said, removing his gloves. He knew Bob and Serena well enough that they wouldn't object.
“It's not formal at all,” Serena explained. “We just enjoy dressing up. Here, make yourself more comfortable,” she said to Dennis. She handed him a hanger. Dennis took off his jeans and hung them on the hanger, handing it back to Serena. She opened the hall closet and hung it up.
“Please come, sit down,” Bob invited, gesturing toward the living room. Anne followed his gesture and sat on a loveseat, allowing room for Bob to join her.
Serena took Dennis' hand and led him to the couch. Dennis felt a childlike delight at her tender touch. His mind raced ahead to the wonders that lay before him. Glancing to Anne, he could see that she too was enchanted by the prospects of what was to come. He settled down at the left end of the couch, providing ample room for Serena to relax at his side.
For the next hour Dennis and Serena recalled the events which had lead to Dennis's leaving the university and to Serena's promotion. The intervening months were quickly spanned, and soon Dennis felt as close to Serena as he had on their last day together.
Serena gasped softly as Dennis gently stroked her golden breasts. Suddenly a thumpety-thump of little feet ran down the back stairs, and a clatter of dishes resounded from the sink. After the water turned on and off a few times, the kitchen door opened and young Tara entered the living room. Her delicate blue eyes peeked over a colorfully spotted kerchief. Her otherwise nude form glowed with a golden tan. “Mom,” she said to Serena, “May I watch TV?”
“Sure,” Serena replied as she caressed Tara's small butt, “But I'd like you to use the earphones so we can hear our conversation. I'll get them down for you.” Serena stood up and followed Tara to the hall closet.
Dennis remembered his own childhood. He had never dared to admit to his father that he had raided the refrigerator, though Dad must have known by his growth. How paradoxical, he thought, that parents know that eating is a normal part of growth, and by making food available tacitly encourage their children to eat, yet never allow the children to witness them in the act itself.
Tara switched on the television and plugged in the earphones. She pulled a small rocker and hassock around in front of the television and propped up her feet.
Serena returned to her position at Dennis' right on the couch. She leaned back against the armrest and lifted her left foot to the back of the couch. Dennis let his right hand brush along Serena's leg until it grazed her pubic hair. He pressed it gently into the softness of her vulva and felt her familiar wetness. Gently pressing against her clitoris, his fingertip slipped inside her vagina, until he found her G-spot, which he massaged gently until she sighed.
Dennis glanced back at Tara. By now she was engrossed in the show. Her eyes were riveted on the screen, and her right hand was pressed tightly against the hairless mound between her thighs. Every so often she would push her feet against the hassock and the chair would rock slightly, her hand massaging her yet-to-develop pubic area.
His eyes drifted to Anne, who was sitting with Bob on the floor before the fireplace, her eyes gazing into his and her legs straddling his. She was lightly stroking him from his chest to his legs, letting her hands graze lightly over his fully erect penis on each pass. Dennis felt a surge of pride in knowing that such a sensitive lady had chosen him to be her husband.
After several hours had passed and young Tara had gone to bed, Anne suggested, “Well, Dennis, what do you think about going home for some shut-eye?”
Dennis had to agree. While he was enjoying the evening, it was getting late, and he thought about the chores that had to be done tomorrow. Bob retrieved their clothes from the closet and handed them to Dennis and Anne. Before putting them on, Dennis embraced Bob, hugging him firmly. “Thanks, Bob, for a great evening,” Dennis said.
“And thank you,” Bob replied. As he spoke, Dennis could feel Bob's penis gently swinging against his own. Anne and Serena were similarly exchanging good-night hugs as Dennis secured his bandanna and donned his shirt and jeans.
Dennis had been at his business conference for three days when he learned that his meeting for tomorrow was canceled, so he decided to return home a day early. He thought of calling Anne with the good news, but decided he would surprise her instead.
It was about 8:00 p.m. as he turned into the driveway and opened the garage door. Hunger pangs gnawing, he wearily opened the door into the kitchen, expecting to find that Anne had snacked by herself, as she usually did when he had to be away for a meal. He didn't mind, as she always visited with him as he ate, anyway. But this time on the dining room table he found two dirty plates, two wine glasses, and two sets of silverware. Suddenly the pieces fell into place: the extra grocery bag he had found in the trash last week, the strange bandanna he had found in his drawer, Anne's lack of appetite when they dined together. She had been eating with another man! Dennis could not contain his shock. Delirious with rage, he ran to the bedroom and confronted Anne, whom he had heard calling, “Bob, is that you?”
“No, it's Dennis! Remember me, your husband?” Dennis was livid. “So it was Bob, huh? Don't I make enough of a dinner partner for you? Is it his mustache you crave? Or the way he chews?”
“Settle down, Dennis,” Anne replied. She was clearly shaken by Dennis's surprise return, but she tried to remain calm. “I can explain everything.”
“There's nothing left to explain!” Dennis bellowed. “It's clear enough to me. It's over!” With that, Dennis turned and ran out the front door, slamming it behind himself.
Still trembling, Dennis started the car and drove to a nearby restaurant. “One, please,” he told the hostess. She escorted him to a vacant booth and handed him a menu. The restaurant was kind of a dive; it had only curtains between the booths, not the solid walls of the more reputable establishments. But it would suit him fine for tonight; in fact, they would be less likely to challenge the fact that he was alone here. Soon a waiter appeared and took his order for a hamburger and fries. While waiting for the meal, Dennis's thoughts raced. “Why,” he pondered, “would she cheat on me like that. What did I do? And what can I do now? Let's see, Mr. Stewart at the office knows a good lawyer; I'll call him in the morning.”
Dennis's stomach was still churning when the waiter brought his meal. “Enjoy your dinner,” the waiter said. He closed the curtain, turned and left.
Dennis loosened his bandanna and let it fall around his neck. He picked up a fork and poked mindlessly at the hamburger. Even though he hadn't eaten in nearly a day, he couldn't get very interested in the plate before him. Visions of Anne sitting across the table from Bob raced through his head. He shuddered at the thought of Bob watching Anne open her mouth to accept a forkful of food. His stomach churned as he envisioned Bob chewing a steak while Anne watched. “How could she enjoy that with him?” he wondered. “Didn't we vow to forsake all others? How have I failed? No, it's not me; it's her. I should have known she was just an animal by the way she ate. I should have known I could never satisfy her.”
Finally Dennis did manage to chew and swallow three mouthfuls of his burger. He wiped his mouth with the napkin, put on his bandanna, and opened the curtain. The waiter, seeing the open curtain, brought the check. Dennis picked it up and took it to the cashier.
Dennis was too shaken to confront Anne again that night. He checked into the motel on McNamara Blvd., the one which he had passed by every day but hardly noticed because he never before thought he would need a motel so close to home.
He had understood that Anne often slept with Bob when he was away; that was fine with him. He knew that she was lonely and needed a warm body to share her bed. He understood how horny Anne was, and he knew he couldn't always be with her. Besides, he knew Bob was a good lover who could easily bring her off. But Dennis had always assumed that things between Bob and Anne were purely sexual, as they were when he had played with Serena. He had believed that Anne never removed her veil for anyone but him (except her dentist, but that was different). Dennis had of course fantasized about watching Serena eat, but it had only been a fantasy, and as such it had never threatened his marriage. Now he knew that for Anne and Bob it was a reality.
Dennis awoke to the sounds of the rush hour traffic beneath his window and the birds chirping in the wires above McNamara Boulevard. Opening his eyes, he was momentarily puzzled by the strange room. Suddenly the events of last night came back to him. Still numbed by the shock, he threw his things into the suitcase, put on his best paisley bandanna, and checked out.
The familiar streets seemed surreal as Dennis drove toward his office. Stumbling past the receptionist with a mumbled “good morning,” he found his desk and picked up the phone. Normally Stewart's extension would leap to his fingers, but this time he had to rummage for the company phone list.
“Joe? This is Dennis. Listen, I got a problem. You know that lawyer you used when you had that accident?”
Dennis related the incident of last night and his conviction that his marriage was over. He soon wrote, “George Penham, Penham and Dunlop, 1400 Park Avenue, Suite 1210.” “Top floor of the Western Bank Building,” Dennis thought as he wrote. “This is gonna cost me a pile.”
Luckily Dennis was able to obtain an appointment for later that morning. On his way out the door, he turned to his secretary for the first time this week. “I've had a personal emergency,” he explained. “If anyone calls, I'm still out of town.”
“Mr. Penham will see you now,” the receptionist said as he escorted
Penham was leaning back in his high leather chair, casually stroking his penis. “Have a seat,” he said. “What can I do for you, Mr. Green? You said you wanted a divorce?”
Dennis sat down in the guest chair in front of the mammoth oak desk and again related his story. “Anne—my wife—she's been messing around with another guy. It's not that she's been a bad wife, you know; she's a good sex partner and all, but she can't confine her meals to just between us.”
Penham idly scratched his balls as he pondered what Dennis was telling him. Finally he leaned forward, folded his arms across the slab of glass topping the desk, and looked Dennis in the eye. “It's not going to be cheap,” he said. “She'll probably get to keep the house, and you'll have to pay alimony...”
“But it was her fault!” Dennis protested.
“Well, `fault' isn't considered in this state, anymore,” Penham explained. “And if it were, it was you who left her. But listen, I have another idea. I don't want to get too involved in this until you two have had a chance to talk to a marriage counselor. Here, see if you can get your wife to see Mary Belleville with you.” He pulled a business card from his desk, handed it to Dennis, and rose to shake hands.
Dennis wandered out of Penham's office and back to his own, not really feeling he had accomplished anything for his time. Blindly following instructions, he called Mary Belleville and explained Penham's referral. He learned that she would be free all day tomorrow.
Now for the hard part, Dennis thought, as he called home. He nervously dialed his home number, not knowing how Anne would react.
“Anne, it's Dennis,” he said. “Listen, I think we really need to talk things out. Could you meet with me and Mary Belleville tomorrow sometime? She's a marriage counselor, and, well, it's worth a try, if she could help us put things between us back they way they were.”
Dennis was relieved to hear Anne agree. “Maybe she feels guilty for how she treated me,” he thought. He was also a bit embarrassed for his outburst of last night, but he was not ready to admit that to himself, yet.
During the first session with Mary Belleville, Dennis had acquired a respect for her perceptiveness, and he was quite optimistic as he waited in her reception room for their second session to begin. Anne entered and sat down across from him. He nodded to affirm her presence, but still felt it best to not begin a conversation until Ms. Belleville was available to moderate. He knew that she would be able to call them at their games and keep the discussion headed in a positive direction. Instead, Dennis focused his attention on the aquarium.
A small piece of food slowly drifted down from the surface, but before it was halfway to the bottom it was engulfed by a hungry fish. “How simple it is for them,” Dennis thought. “They freely eat whatever comes their way, in a glass tank where everyone can watch. They don't need to pair off in private for their meals....” Dennis' thought was interrupted when the office door opened. Mary ushered them in.
“So far, we've discovered that you two still have a lot of love for each other,” she summarized the previous session, “but you sometimes get into trouble when you encounter new situations where you haven't had a chance to rationally explore your feelings. Instead, you react according to deeply programmed messages about how you `should' feel. Perhaps you need to experience an environment where you can confront your feelings, challenge what was taught you as a child, and find what fits for yourselves now.”
“Sounds like a good idea to me,” Dennis replied, “but that's all pretty abstract. What did you have in mind?”
“Have you ever considered visiting a....” Mary paused as she looked at Anne. She wanted to be careful that Anne was part of the process as well. Anne's curious eyes conveyed that she wanted Mary to continue. “...a nudist park?”
Anne's expression turned to shock. “I could never do that!” she protested.
Dennis was intrigued by the idea but he knew Anne would be hard to convince. He recalled about the most risque thing they had done together: their visit to the adult book store on their last trip to the city. Secretly he had been fascinated by the row after row of magazines for sale. Not just soft-core, like his Smile, but hard-core ones as well which actually showed people in the act of eating. Anne had been so disgusted that they had to leave before Dennis' curiosity was satisfied.
Mary's voice became reassuring and supportive. “Many people tend to confuse nudism with pornography,” she explained, “but actually the only thing they have in common is the exposed faces. A nudist park is simply a place where people are free of society's restriction to keep their mouths covered. No one will salivate when they see you, because in that environment, exposing one's mouth is not a sign that it's time to eat.”
Dennis, too, began to grasp the difference. “Anne, it's not like what we saw in that bookstore,” he reasoned. “There we saw pictures of people who were eating for the camera and its paying customers. The publishers were exploiting the models to make a profit. I think what Mary's talking about is quite different: people take off their bandannas and veils because the freedom feels good to themselves. And I'm sure it would feel good to you and me both.”
Mary nodded in agreement, and from watching Anne she could see that Anne understood too. “So you mean, you don't see people eating in public there?” Anne asked.
“Of course not,” Mary reassured.
“Well, perhaps it wouldn't hurt, to try it just once, if there would be no pressure,” Anne hesitantly ventured.
“No pressure,” Dennis promised. He could tell that Anne was extending herself because she wanted to reconcile their differences, and he too wanted her to feel comfortable in her decision.
The day was sunny and warm. As they arrived at the park, they saw a large sign: “OFFICE. Please stop and register.” With some apprehension, Dennis parked the car at the side of the driveway, got out, and opened the door for Anne. He watched her deeply tanned body slide from the car, and as he admired her he knew it was worth settling their differences. He opened the office door and they stepped in.
“Hello there,” welcomed the manager at the desk. His voice was particularly clear, and Dennis could see why: Where one would expecting to see a bandanna, he instead saw only a mustache which did little to conceal the lips below forming his words.
“May I help you?” the manager asked. Dennis watched Anne for her reaction. She was doing her best to look at the floor, somehow feeling it inappropriate to look at this stranger's naked face. But the manager's question caught her attention.
“Mary Belleville sent us,” Anne volunteered. “She said we should check in here.”
“Oh, yes, she said to expect you. Since this is your first visit, there is no charge, but I will need you to fill out this registration.” He handed her an index card form.
When they had completed registration, the manager directed them to the main parking lot. They quickly found the swimming pool, and unfolded two lawn chairs on its deck.
Dennis felt an initial twinge of embarrassment as he witnessed the scene before him. Here, dozens of adults of both sexes and children of all ages shared a common swimming pool. Every one of them was completely naked, without even the smallest bandanna or veil covering his mouth. Ironically, Dennis was the one who was embarrassed, yet he was the only one who was covered. He looked at Anne and was surprised to see that she had removed her veil!
“When in Rome, ...” Anne said, and with that she dived into the pool. Dennis recalled the manager's explanation that bandannas were prohibited in the water, and since he wanted to follow Anne, he took a deep breath, gritted his teeth, and untied his bandanna. For the first time Dennis felt the warmth of the sunshine on his cheeks. Cautiously at first, then with greater speed, he let his breath escape through slightly parted lips. Something felt different, cooler and more free, as the wind carried his breath away without a bandanna to trap its warm moisture against his cheeks. Now, exalting in his new freedom, Dennis took a second deep breath and dived into the pool to join Anne.
With childlike glee Dennis swam the length of the pool. Each time he raised his head to take a breath he found it unusually easy. Without a soggy bandanna obstructing the air flow, he could inhale in half the time. And he didn't need to fear that the water might displace it. Somehow it all seemed so natural.
Later that afternoon, Dennis took Anne's hand and led her to the lawn where a number of people were talking. By now he had become accustomed to seeing uncovered faces.
Dennis thought back to the models in his magazines. Compared to what he was seeing now, they had always looked so artificial, with makeup and lipstick calling attention to their secret parts. Somehow the members of the club looked more natural and healthy with their all-over tans than he had expected. He looked at Anne's pallid cheeks and the artificial-looking lines where her tan stopped just below her nose. He felt momentarily conspicuous as he considered how his own face must look. But soon one of the strangers greeted Anne and himself and his fear was dissipated.
“Hello,” a young lady said, “is this your first visit?” She was no more than about 22, and Dennis was having trouble knowing where to place his eyes as she spoke. He did his best to make good eye contact, resisting the temptation to let his gaze fall to the lips talking just below.
“Why, yes,” he responded. By now he was avoiding her face entirely; it felt safer to rest his eyes on her breasts.
“We're friends of Mary Belleville,” Anne offered. Dennis could see that Anne didn't want to explain the chain of circumstances which had led to their visit. Instead, Anne commented on the game in progress behind them. “Is chess very popular here?” she asked.
“Yes, it is. I really love the game,” the young lady replied. “Oh, by the way, my name is Anita.”
Anne introduced Dennis and herself, whereupon Anita introduced her friend Steve and invited the newcomers to sit down.
After an hour's conversation, Dennis had almost forgotten that Anita and Steve were nude. Anne and he were freely conversing with them, their words freely flowing from uncovered lips with scarcely a thought to their exposure. What he did feel was a new comfort which was difficult to pinpoint. Reflecting a bit, Dennis realized that their communication involved more than just the sounds of the words. Because he could see the mouths making the words, there was more information flowing. The tone of voice was augmented by slight nuances in expression not normally noticed: a smile or a frown made it difficult to hold pretenses. Somehow the people he had met today seemed much more sincere, more genuine, than people he met in the outside world.
As the sun began to settle behind the trees, Dennis felt some familiar hunger pangs growl in his stomach. He had had a wonderful time today, and for the first time since he had discovered Anne's affair he felt like he wanted to share dinner with her. “Anne,” he said, taking her hand and looking into her eyes, “I love you.”
“Oh, Dennis, I love you, too,” Anne replied. “Meals have been so lonely since you left.”
Dennis watched Anne's lips as she spoke. He remembered how wonderful he had felt when they first kissed. He remembered the many meals they had shared, how much he enjoyed sharing the sheer physical joys of ingestion with someone he cared about as deeply as Anne. “Anne, let's go home!” Dennis blurted out. With that, he put his arms around her and gave her a giant bear hug.
Anne's arms surrounded Dennis and from the strength of her hug, Dennis knew the answer was “yes.”
Now Dennis was seeing things in a new light. “If Anne wants to dine with Bob, then that's what she should do,” Dennis thought to himself. “I love her, but after all, I don't own her. By understanding this, I give her the freedom to love me, too.” Suddenly it didn't matter what had happened with Bob. Dennis didn't care what else Anne did, if she was happy; all he cared was that they would share more wonderful dinners together. A chill ran through his body. Dennis didn't know whether it was from his thoughts or from the evening breeze coming in over the hills, but he knew it was time to go. Stepping back from Anne, he again gazed at her pretty face and caressed her body lightly, running his hands down her back to her butt, around the front, through her pubic hair, up her chest, pausing briefly to tickle each nipple, then up to her neck. He wanted to touch her chin and guide her lips to his, but he knew that would need to wait until they were in private. Instead, he took her hand. “Let's go,” he said, leading her to the parking lot.