The evening of Christine Rosamond’s funeral, Vicki childhood friend Pip came up tome, and said;
“Cindy’s upstairs waiting for you.”
Cindy Blake was the girl next door to the Molnars in the Valley. Lillian Molanar is my aunt, a Rosamond sister whom my daughter was going to name her first-born child after, if it was a girl. Cindy and I had been romantically involved when she was sixteen, We did not have sexual intercourse till she was twenty, after we broke up. She wanted me. She was up stairs in one of the bedrooms. She was married. She was part of the erotic energy that flowed like dancing static electricity between Christine and I that made everyone who came in our field wonder if we were lovers, if there was actual touching.
When we were not talking, after our dispute about taking over the art world, Christine forbid her best friend Raphael to see me. Raphael was another girl next door that had to have me, since she was fifteen. It almost happened after Marilyn and I broke up. She came to my studio in the back yard at Glendon wearing a bikini. Her parents came from France. She was very sex-y!
At the funeral reception held in the Rosamond Gallery in Carmel, Stacey Pierrot was handing out Rosamond prints to members of my family. This was illegal, but, she wanted in more than ever. There was something immortal going on, something – very sex-y!
Stacey held out a vase of brushes, and bid me to pick one. A probate has not been filed. Her masters ashes are somewhere around. I choose my brush wisely. I choose the biggest one, and go looking for Raphael, because I want to paint her, because Christine never did a painting of her, her beautiful friend. There was jealousy here. Christine feared Artisitc Justice would arrive through Raphael, she becoming the Muse my sister borrowed from me, along with The Artist Genius that the women who surrounded us were witness to growing up. When brother and sister are close, there is borrowing, and taking, and the fulfillment of each others dreams. She tried to give it back.
“Where is my beautiful witness?” (Où est mon témoin belle?)
I found Raphael out in the courtyard, by the fountain. I came close to her, like she did me in her bikini. She wanted me to take her by the hips and move her mound of Venus next to me. It was all I could to resist her, because I knew there would be trouble with Christine. If she could not have Bill, I could not have Raphael. Such is the erotic etiquette of brother and sister.
“Close your eyes. I’m going to paint you.”
I raised the large sable brush to Raphael’s beautiful face, and made lover to her with it. I painted her cheeks, her forehead, I came down her nose, to her lips. I rendered her chin, and was going for her neck, but, thought better of it, for there would be no stopping us. We would do it there, in Carmel, by the Fountain of Art and Love, in the afternoon, in front of all who came to say goodbye to Rosamond.
When Vicki and I fought over her suggestion I come live in our sister’s home with Shannon in order to keep her from steeling, I walked out of my Christine’s home for the final time. Raphael was right behind, and caught me when I was about to get in the car.
“Where are you going?” She asked, with lowered head, she wanting to grasp me gently by the lapel of my jacket, and move closer to me. And I got it, her real question.
“Why are you leaving. I am staying the night, and I want you to stay with me. I want you to hold me, kiss me, make love to me with your hands. Put down your brush Jon Gregory, and just be the man I have loved for most of my life.”
When I was fourteen, Christine invited me to a party she was going to.
“It’s going to be a make-out party!”
“We are going to listen to music, dance, and make-out.”
“Have you been to such a party before?”
“Yes, and I want you to be there.”
I was fourteen. Christine was thirteen. She was in Junior High, and I in High School. Apparently the younger generation stopped beating about the bush, and went for it, and did what they all wanted to do, explore their sexuality with the aid of another.
A mother let me int the door and guided me to the basement steps. It was dark, there but a few dim lights burning. There were dark figures on the couches and chairs, clutching one another, their heads moving about in motion to their little kisses. I thought I saw Christine over in a corner. I thought I heard desperate encouragements. I looked at the red light on the phonograph, and heard the song;
We will never come this way again. My generation broke the mold and the ice. Here was the Genesis of the Coming Revolution. Our little pets and squeezes in the dark had unleashed her, our beloved Dark Angel of Permission.
Christine and Rena led the way. They were at the point, the vanguard, experimenting on how to do it, and not get caught, not get dashed upon the rocks. The are forgivable. There will never kisses like these. For they were forbidden. We loved each other – all of us! It did not matter who you kissed in the dark, as long as it was not your brother, or your sister?
Rena was like a sister to me. She wanted to love whomever she pleased. She wanted my permission to experiment, to see if this was possible. But, true love got in our way.
If there was a pretty young thing for me to kiss, there, she had moved deeper into the shadows, I perhaps intimidating, the older one, who might want to go the whole way.
I left my beautiful sister to her make-out party with a feeling – all is well in the world.