AUGUST 2, Amsterdam:

Suzanna Schlemm

Early morning, unbrushed teeth, the blur of airtime. My soul tethered to my body but thousands of miles behind. Your head on my shoulder. The plane circles Schiphol, a porthole vision: wind farms, rectangular fields like paper passed through a shredder, shipping containers.

We race toward touch down. Your hand finds mine as the wheels make contact, contact again and then grip the tarmac. Recognition that this moment is ending. Nothing has been defined. I pull down the tray table, write you a note. I fold it into an origami boat, an address arranged around the water line.

Me, dropping the boat to your knee: You can find me here.

Me, like it’s already arranged: See you at sunset, then.

You, brushing my cheek: Ok. A big grin.

You, reaching into your bag and pulling out a book: Hey, in exchange, a present from me.

Me: Thanks and while I think of it—what’s your name?

You: Let’s save that for later.


I ride the train to my meeting with Mr. V., half-aware of the brown blur of canal after canal. When he and I meet, I am holding your book, J.-K. Huysmans’ ‘Against the Grain’.

Mr. V., nodding at the title: Oh, you’re one of those.

Me, with no idea what he’s referring to: Sure.

Mr. V. escorts me into a former greenhouse. Glass framed by copper, oxidized green, converted into a garage for classic cars. Escorting me to the back, Mr. V. brings me to the ONE. There she is. Fuck. Porsche 914.

Okay, some say not a classic, but: 1975. Kelly green. Dog-leg gear box. Rims like blades of a windmill. AM/FM stereo. I could go on. She is mine.

Mr. V., handing me his card: If you’re in France, feel free to stop by. We’re having a party on the 26th that I’m sure you’d enjoy.

It states simply, “Le Chateau. Saint-Laurent-Le-Minier.”

9:00 PM and I arrive at the barge. You are on deck. The sun breaks through the clouds and becomes a halo illuminating your face. I exhale and feel blessed. You are here.

Me, holding up a plastic bag: I bought you some mangosteen.

I spill them out before you. They bounce dully and collide with each other like a set of oversized marbles. I scoop one up and dig my thumb into the purple of the rind and pull it back, revealing glistening white flesh.

Me, separating a section: Straight from Indonesia…Ok, you, mouth open, eyes closed.

You acquiesce, and I rub the fruit across your lower lip before placing it delicately in your mouth.

I watch your face change: your eyes roll back, your lips part slightly. The mangosteen’s flesh melting on your tongue.

You, eyes still closed: More…more.

I feed you like a baby bird.


We go below and fuck. You lie on the berth, and we find it is the perfect height. I stand and penetrate you. Your legs in the air, calves pushing against my shoulders. My fingertips, stained purple from mangosteen, grip your thighs. Our groans are accompanied by the click of heels on the cobbles of the quay outside the porthole.

Your head is to the side. Your breasts contract, your nipples impossibly erect, and I make you come.

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