Sep 9, 2016

In the woods and on the heath --- another book of prayers --- by Jan v. Rijn

Cool, folks, cool, we're in Jan v. Rijn's highly bibliophile book "In the woods and on the heath." And it's not, as you might expect, another explicit exercise. No, it is, as the subtitle says, "another book of prayers," so more in the old-school, Aubrey Beardsley style of cheeky suggestion. Jan's drawings are subtle, elaborate, time-consuming, black-and-white, and AROUSING! Michael is not the only author, there are contributions by Paul Eluard, Louis Aragon, Vanessa de Largie, and many others. 

Here's one of Michael's stories, accompanied by the corresponding picture. The story was written after Michael saw the picture, and the hero of his tale, Jeffrey, really is a spitting image of Jan's model. And as so often with Michael's work, the story is mostly true. Enjoy.  


The town house was located in an off-center residential street of Amsterdam inside its own red-light bubble: Blue Boys said the neon-sign on the façade. Jeffrey was one of the boys, although he’d come into the picture only after I’d failed to talk up a hot guy who sat behind the improvised bar on the second floor and assured me he’s a customer himself. 

The sex with Jeffrey on the third floor was so-so, so we had time to talk. He’d just enrolled with the Blue Boys because he had no place to stay, and no money, and a bright future with me—-if he could stay with me, that is, at my place, which wasn’t far.

Jeffrey spent one more working night at the brothel and then we had sex one more time, although I failed to penetrate. He pushed me away, wrapping himself in the blanket. I don’t remember how I came.

We separated, and he would sleep in the second bedroom. He’d “help,” or “contribute”—-he’d keep the place clean, which he did very well. 

My friends would comment on him, especially my female friends. He’s beautiful, they’d say.

On Saturdays he’d ask me to give him a ride to the acting school for poor boys/gals. “Cycle faster,” he’d say while sitting on the luggage rack behind me; he was from South-Africa.

We’d organize parties with his class mates and his new boyfriends. He had a Moroccan class mate, Muhammed, who’d complain later that the gals would never leave him alone and that he had to have sex in the spare bedroom, early-on during the feast, under the cover of the guest’s overcoats, and then more sex with somebody else later on, and it wouldn't stop; he didn’t look the part.

Jeffrey needed the money that I didn’t give him, but then he remembered Phillip, who had more money and was much older. I spent a lot of face time with Phillip while both of us were waiting for Jeffrey to show up. Phillip made his money running drugs but he’d always been honest with his clients, I learned. And he was addicted to Jeffrey.

We had minor altercations, like Phillip showing up in the morning while Jeffrey was still in bed with a trick, the trick—-half-naked, half-hard—-departing hurriedly, Phillip all-forgiving.

Phillip got a dog for Jeffrey, a Maltese puppy. We called her Sacha. I walked Sacha three times a day along the canals and fell in love with her. Then I fell in love with Ray. 

I told Jeffrey that Ray would move in. “No prob,” Jeffrey said, “I’ll move in with Phillip.” He took Sacha with him, of course. “We’re going to see Sacha again,” I said to Ray.

We went to see Sacha a couple of times. They lived in a row house in Almere, a new town built smack in a new polder in the middle of nowhere. The last time we went to see the dog, Jeffrey would call his Phillip “darling,” and Phillip would look away. 

One day Jeffrey would show up unannounced, Sacha under his arm. He had had a fight with Phillip, and Sacha had no place to stay. We got the dog, and Jeffrey would sleep in the street.

Now it was Jeffrey’s turn to come see Sacha. He was never alone, though, he’d always have men that chauffeured him around and organized exhibitions of his art work—one picture is still hanging in my bed room—and a vernissage of his gift shop and a song contest, because Jeffrey could also sing and dance and throw his legs.

Then we wouldn’t see Jeffrey for a long time. When he finally showed up he was alone, and he was anxious whether Sacha would still remember him. You’ve changed, I asked/observed. Yes, his breasts are growing on schedule. He’s getting hormone treatment now, and his sex change is scheduled for next month. He’s always felt like a girl, always. Whether I would remember Muhammed, his class mate then, the guy who had sex twice at our party. That guy had a sex change as well. 

She is on Facebook now. Jennifer and I are “friends” again.

The book, the book. There's a print run of 100 numbered copies, fifty of which are for sale. Please refer to the right column for a sales link.

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