[If you have not already done so, you must
read the Introduction
Revenge Should Have No Bounds 013
Chapter 5 (3 of 3): The Doctor
I laughed lightly. But I was getting turned on by talking about something dear to me. I never took an art course and I certainly don’t have the art historian’s sere intellectualism to conduct me. But I feel that I know what I am talking about.
Hoacman was on the edge of his seat, and I continued.
“There is the striking juxtaposition of old man and youth, of old age and young life, and you can’t help imagining what they are saying to each other. Is the old man – the worldly wise old water carrier — handing a full glass of water to the boy, or is the boy handing an empty glass to the old man and requesting water? If you take the symbolism of water as aqua vitae, or agua de vida, ‘the water of life’, either the man is passing it on to the boy or the boy is asking for it from the old guy. In any event, I do see the water symbolically, and therefore the exchange, in whatever direction, strikes me as a profound one — between the generations, a passing on of things, a human sharing between them. Something like, what you are, I was; what I am, you will be.
“The use of color here is important. The white collar of the boy speaks to the white shirt covering the old man’s forearm, yet his clothing lacks all detail, and it contrasts strikingly with the refined rendering of the old man’s torn and shabby attire. The color bridge, as it were, between the two areas of brightness is, appropriately, the white highlights that circle the foot and rim of the glass and its sides, and the physical bridge is the sense that the hands holding the glass almost touch. Or do they? The particular color antithesis is paralleled by the boy’s pale smooth face and the old man’s darker, wrinkled visage, one with no facial hair and the other with beard. The whites of the clothing and the highlights of the urns and glass aside, the general tone is somber, dominated by ochres and earth-tones, creating a muted encounter of the type you could well imagine happening daily on any street corner or inn of Sevilla in the early seventeenth century. This quotidian detail is elevated into great art.”
Hoacman was entranced. “And the character in the middle?”
“If I’m on target as seeing this paining as a version of the age-old theme of the ages of man and the contrast between youth and age, then you’re on point. You have to be intrigued by the murkily limned character in the background between the boy and old man: his face is undefined! He’s drinking water, too, and I have often pondered if perhaps Velázquez intentionally left him ‘unfinished’ or simply did not get around to doing him fully. There are five planes in this painting: large urn, small urn and old man, glass and hands, young boy, and the fuzzy character. Only the last one is not cripsly rendered, and certainly Velázquez could have employed a ‘spatial perspective’ while at the same time detailing the man’s face. Think of a spatially much more complex painting like Las Meninas where the most distant plane — the man in the doorway who is probably the artist — is meticulously rendered. Perhaps the middle character represents adulthood, and was de-emphasized since Velázquez was interested only in the connection between old and young. Who knows?”
“And that’s why it’s about you and me?”
“Sort of. We are both the old man and the youth. But, relatively speaking, I am young and you are old.” He made a wry moue. “All right, older, let’s say.”
“That’s certainly an interesting view of the painting. I’m going to have to go back and check it out more carefully. I know I have a good reproduction of it at home, and I also bought the postcard at the museum.” He put a thoughtful mien. “And the water? What are you and I exchanging?”
I shrugged. “It could be anything. Look at our drinks!” He nodded again, but not with much conviction. “Or do you want to make it your version and mine of the agua de vida, our life forces, our wetnesses? Is that what you want to get at?”
“That’s certainly a possibility, isn’t it? Interpretations like to be protean. Don’t you think?”
“I don’t know. I suppose.
“I’ve looked at this painting for many years, and it continues to intrigue me. As with a great work of literature, no matter how often I come back to it, I see something fresh each time and get some new notion of what is going on. It has a timeless silence that, oddly speaks to me forever. If it were on the market and I were immeasurably rich …”
“Yes,” he agreed. “One can always dream.”
He got up and started to undress, motioning to me to do the same. He is hard and huge.
At heart, Hoacman is what in the trade is known as a mind-fucker. He wants to get off, yes, but distantly. It all takes place more immediately in his head, in his fantasies, than below the navel. Although he has all the physical equipment and it certainly seems to be in superb working order, for him it takes intellectual stimulation to get cranked up.
By now I know his routine better than he does.
I lie naked on the bed and he sits at the foot of it. I spread my legs, open up wide. He stares with great intensity. But never touches me. And fondles himself, slowly at first, then fast and vigorously, and with a groan deep in his throat gushes onto the thick layers of towel in front of him on the bed.
“Spectacular,” he rasps, panting hard.
For a guy who spends his working hours looking at the insides of naked women, I just don’t get it. But he pays well, he’s definitely not an uninteresting guy, and we all have our demons circling around inside.
We shower together in the large stall, but he never touches me.
“I’ll make an appointment,” he says before I exit the room.
He smiles boyishly at me. “You’re really something, Mazarine, you know that?”
I pucker my mouth and blow him a kiss as I close the door.
He usually likes to sit alone for about fifteen minutes before taking the elevator down.
God only knows what he thinks about. His next pelvic exam?
TO BE CONTINUED