Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Story of Mrs. F.A. Tasse's Parlour, Part Seven


Albertine was sleek and black. She had a bit of jive inside of her, didn’t live with the other ladies. She lived where she felt most comfortable, outside of the district, walked past the negroe cribs because she was looking for a better life. There weren’t any black people on Basin Street or around the corner on Conti Street either. So she walked to work, on out past the negroe cribs. Tension was high and she fought against Jim Crow in her own small way. Ever since she had heard about the police chief getting shot, there was a lot of fighting, anger and what have you. His dying words, that he was shot by a Dago. The Italians were infuriated. The colored population that had interacted for so long with the white population was comparatively liberal for the deep south. Many disliked the State of Louisiana’s attempt to enforce strict racial segregation. They hoped the laws would be overturned, but in the end, they were upheld. Things were becoming a little more strict, but not so much in the district.
In the 1800s, the Creoles of New Orleans were broken into two basic groups: The White-Creoles and Afro-Creoles, which were a mix of whites, white-mix and blacks. Nobody wanted to see the shades. Different values came naturally; language, jobs and the status for women were at odds with the groove and movement of time. The French Creoles were white and upper class. They spoke French, had a bit of snobbery about them.

The Afro-Creoles began in Europe and also in Africa as slaves. The Creole’s took offense when the term for their kind was used to describe and name the colored people: Creoles, as well as themselves. There had been lynching’s and accusations, mobs about here and there. Innocent people were at risk. It wasn’t a safe place, and certainly not a safe time.

The district now open, people were coming from everywhere. There was a lot of hustle and bustle, one didn’t know who was on the up, and who was on the take. Race became threatening. Albertine walked uptown to the more proper side of the district near Basin in search of a better life. She carried a .38 special with dum-dum bullets in it to work with her every day. She walked to work early in the morning from where she was at home and at ease, along the walk, where there was mistrust and apprehension.

The words she heard behind her back were: Black Creole or Afro-Creole, a gens de couleur libres, a free woman of colour, colored, black, negroe and nègre, trash, slut and whore.

She would never aim to kill, but would consider causing serious injury should she be provoked.
She enjoyed sporting men and they enjoyed the light in her darkness. Her skin betrayed the morning sun, made it appear awash in the hazy glow. As she walked along the austere district walls, she sometimes became a blur or a shadow, there among the iron rails. There was an overhanging and dull light from the verandas and height of the buildings. She crossed the streets from sun to shade and back again, depending on which way she wanted to go, and what she wanted to see. Her skin became saturated with the deep and warm varicolored stain in the district, now weathered and dry.
She blended there, on her morning walks, was not to become flush with her surroundings, but rather concealed therein.
Her clothes matched with that of the plaster and stucco, light and shadow. Hue and tint. Color and lack of color.
She moved along with a confidence in herself, righteous and proud. Moved there along the salmon and vermilion, the decay of façade. There were many who saw sadness in the district and moral depravity. Sex and alcohol, saloons and jive joints. Young and old danced in the floor shows, showing a bit of skin, a breast, a thigh or they bared it all. Albertine saw and chance to move up, opportunity where some only saw stagnation and cobwebs. Some never saw a chance for loss, only a glimmer of hope. During this period, even women could not be trusted. A red haired tart who had been engaged in prostitution from an early age had been accused of murder. She was known for terrorizing others, beat a man to death in her early years for calling her a whore.
Known to have vulgar language, stabbed another man in broad daylight over her right to do so. Fuck you, you goddamned asshole.

People ended up in the dark corners, attacked and beaten. Times were tough and people were cruel. Alberteen felt good inside working for the Madame Tasse. There was ease and quality. She enjoyed the men who were white. They were in search of what they could not have on the outside in the real world, the world that was there in the light of day. Inside the district and especially inside the brothels, there was acceptance. There was a certain man, a photographer who was distinguished and known in proper circles. He photographed the ladies in the district to that the houses could advertise and show off their assets that hid from within. The photograph frequented Albertine on a regular basis, their lust turned to love but was never to be revealed to the outside world. It remained there in Mrs. Tasse’s parlour and bedrooms.

He enjoyed a bit of cocaine having come from an aristocracy. He grew up with wealthy parents, having had quite a bit of money himself, though generally he spent it all. He loved the contrast of the white powder there on Albertine’s black skin. He emptied vials there on her breast, belly and crack between her legs. He licked and sniffed it off of her and went into an ecstatic trance. He became wired and tore at her with lust and infatuation. He loved to watch her have orgasms and he used different techniques to bring about arousal of her senses. Sometimes he used toys to stimulate her clitoris and vagina. Her orgasm would vary in strength and sensation. Sometimes he would stimulate her anus and vagina at the same time. Her response was often loud, gasping and clutching.
He liked to enter and fuck her after she had ejaculated and climaxed. It brought forth control in his mind and left him writhing and out of breath.

Sometimes he would get on his knees and bend over, placing his head on a pillow, shoulders down, she would enter his anus with her fingers at first, playing and teasing, tickling his inner walls and sphincter. When he was relaxed and loosened, she would use a toy for insertion, slowly push it in and out of his rectum until he could no longer stand it, she would push it in as far as it went while he masturbated with his right hand, sending ejaculation to the floor and woodwork. His appearance would become flushed and afterwards, he would glow. He would then crawl into her arms as they got into bed together. She would hold him this way, her raven arms wrapped around him as if he were a little boy.
He would play with her crotch, inserting his fingers until she had an orgasm, and then suckle his fingers like a baby.
She would stroke his head, his chest and his neck, coddle him until he fell asleep.

They shared a love of food and in paid courtship, Albertine would often have food brought up to her room and serve the photographer. Sometimes she brought a basket of food that she prepared in her neighborhood the evening before he was due to arrive.
She wanted to show him that she could make a home for him, bring him a little comfort and show him a little special attention with detail. He would only visit her inside the sanctuary of Mrs. Tasse’s, never having ventured down to where she lived for fear of being seen.
She had a tiny vegetable garden where she grew beans, and spring onion, some parsley and perhaps a few potatoes or squash. She would tote a basket to work carrying some homemade specialties like boiled ham hocks with black-eyed peas and okra. Perhaps she caught a local trout and fried it up a bit or boiled some crawfish with those tasty heads. She brought Boudin sausage that was made from scratch using ground pig, liver and rice seasoned and stuffed into intestine casing.

Sometimes they would incorporate food into their love making ritual. He would bring a lovely bottle of wine for them to share. Together, alone in her room in the early evenings they would sit and talk, discuss things that made him happy. They would share a meal and she would listen to his stories with great intent. He marveled her with his life, his world and his riches. A world that he could never share with her. She knew this intuitively, never told him she wanted to be part of his world, never let on her desire, but she watched him with eyes fixated on every feature of his face and longed to be inside of his world as he told her stories.
She hoped one day his life would become hers, but it never was to be. She did not want to reveal her desire out loud, for fear of rejection, and so the fantasy continued for years on into decades.

They would sit within the glow of a candle‘s flame, until the wine warmed their senses. Sometimes they would lay back and she would let him open her legs and slowly drizzle the wine into her vagina. The alcohol burned and stung a little at first, and then he would bury his face between her legs and suckle there. They used vegetables in their lovemaking and one time she fed him sugared pecans that he dabbled in her vagina, seasoning them with her soul.

He photographed her, but for the fear of having the images found in his studio, he later destroyed them. As the years passed he carried her image around with him only within his mind, and also within his anguished and lonely heart.

End of part Seven. Click on 'older posts' to read the final chapter, 8.

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