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We were a long time outside, and the window rolled away from me. I slept for
some time. When I woke up I could see peripherally out of the window, but had
a hard time figuring out what I was looking at.
Finally I realized it was the hull of a small spaceship, but it was so shiny
that the hull was a curved
(171 of 219)15-8-2005 0:24:35
BUYING TIME - Joe Haldeman mirror. The little man looked tall and lean in the
reflection. We went through another tedious air lock.
Inside, he unzipped the balloon and carried me to an acceleration couch. There
were four of them. The ship was a fairly new standard-model Rocketdyne,
apparently ordinary except for the mirror finish outside. It was a little
faster than Fireball, but if we were headed for Earth, it would still take
more than a month. What would that be if this zombi drug didn't wear off? A
hundred years? Two hundred?
At least I could sleep. After he'd spent about an hour strapping me in, my
eyes slowly closed.
Waking up was interesting. Mind fast and body slow: I was wide awake but my
eyes were just slits, a tiny bit more information coming in every few minutes.
I seemed clean; he had wiped the dried blood off my upper body. I could see
him off to one side, blurred, ambiguous. With sudden indignation I
realized he was stimulating himself sexually, rubbing up and down, staring at
me. Each cycle of his hand took about ten minutes. The whole process could
take days!
Would I be the first woman in history to be bored senseless while being
sexually abused?
Maybe, in a way, I wasn't being actually abused, since he didn't know I could
see him. He could just as easily be raping me, I realized, and about thirty
seconds later had an odd ghost of a feeling around the lower chest, loins,
scalp, extremities: adrenaline. I tried to will my eyes to shut. If he knew I
could see him he might indeed rape me; men can be funny about being observed.
Women are funny about it, too.
Dallas and I had talked about voyeurism; Italian attitudes are different from
American, but I said there was a commonality. The ultimate violation of
privacy. He said that, nevertheless, it was the only crime in the world that
didn't exist until it was discovered; if the woman didn't know she was being
looked at, the crime had no effect on her. I told him he was a pagan and
didn't understand sin. It wasn't necessary for the victim to know, for the sin
to exist. He tried to wax anthropological on the subject, more than half
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kidding, and I pretended to get angry and moralistic, also kidding, since
fornication, rather more serious than peeping, was one sin I had to confess to
regularly. We did a lot of that kind of game-playing, silly attitudinizing,
and I missed that frivolous side of him with a terrible sudden ache. I laughed
more with him, and harder, than I ever had with a man. With two of the sisters
at the convent, Dominica and
Laraine, before we were old enough for ginnasio, when we went to the orchards
outside of the walls, we would talk about things in the world, about men,
especially about the gardener and the driver, and sometimes we would laugh so
hard, that terrible guilty laughing, that we would cry and our cheeks would
hurt from the stretching, and we would be hoarse when we got back, and once
the Mother
Superior asked us about it and we started laughing again, inside the walls!
That was so wicked we laughed until we peed ourselves.
Oh well. The one thing you can never find again, after you lose it, is
innocence. I did manage to force
(172 of 219)15-8-2005 0:24:35
BUYING TIME - Joe Haldeman my eyes completely shut. Spare the man the
knowledge that his trivial sin had been observed, and therefore existed.
I handed back the draft of Big Dick's Vigilante Committee report. "Fast work.
You really think it could be a floater, though?" [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]


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