Probation officer #30: Music is her aeroplane, but so is eccy

Ana danced. I danced as straight white men do, connecting my bum to the bassline and trying to completely forget how stupid I looked. Which is as easy as deciding not to think about elephants for five minutes.

Still, I was useful from time to time in steadying Ana when she was about to topple. I’d get a reward of her laughing, sweating face, revealed and hidden by the flopping black mushroom of her hair. Her eyes alternately shone or disappeared under her hair, like searchlight beams in cloud. 

spinnerIt was important that I didn’t fuck her, I thought. She decided to hang on me like a hard-bodied, small-breasted little apron. So I span her around and round, so her feet were off the ground and she could fly. Ana said, “aeroplane!” and laughed uproariously. When I was too puffed and dizzy to continue she leant against me, panting and laughing.

I put my hands on her ass. Oh, to steady her. 

Ana kissed me, then kissed me like she meant it.

I remembered various things that were still true. I said, “oh fuck.”

Probation officer #29: Far from cold or forbidding



Ana didn’t judge her stop well. She was still moving fast when I caught her amidships. She pressed lithely against me, affectionate and not quite securely based. “Jaime! Jaime! I never thought you’d be here! I knew you were cool. You’re so cool. Oh.”

I let that pass. “Ana! Hey, it’s wonderful to see you. How you -” But though holding Ana was a pleasure, and I was intently aware of every place and every moment at which her body touched mine, I had to keep holding because her balance was off. 

She said, “Jaime, Jaime, you’re such a lovely guy. I love you, man, ohahh love ya.” And she rubbed the top of her head into the crook of my arm until I made room for her.

I said, “you’re completely lovely too, Ana. Eccy?”

She giggled comfortably, complacently. “Couple. ”

“A few.”

“You’re not mad at me at me, are you?”

“Oh hell no. Nah. ” And I truly didn’t care. I was off duty, but even if I wasn’t, eccy prohibition was far too stupid and hypocritical to worry about. I’d dropped eccy a couple of times and found that it didn’t add much to my evening, but I felt that decision was up to me and not the government. Ana had the same rights as me. “Nah, you’re fine. Here, though, you could use a beer.” 

I’d taken two beers from the kitchen. They were low alcohol and Ana would need to replace some body fluid. I cracked one and passed it to her. (I had to do it that way, so that I didn’t have to write, “I gave her one.”)

She said, “Hey!” and gave me her most brilliant smile, which would have made a lot of things worthwhile. So she poured beer down her throat and swallowed in a continuous flow, jogging her body against mine, more or less in time with the block-rocking, period-establishing, beats I mentioned back in the previous post. It was a noisy backyard.

I was beginning another Ana erection incident. She was still a client, and I still had legal powers over her. And though I think people have the right to have sex a bit indiscriminately when they’re on eccy, Ana was my client on eccy.

my heroIn “The Philadelphia Story” Jimmy Stewart carries Katherine Hepburn back to the house after a night in the swimming shed. They’re in robes. He tells her and other interested parties that they spent the night chastely: swam, talked, fell asleep. Hepburn had had champagne and doesn’t remember the night clearly. She’s a little offended to hear that he didn’t fuck her: “Was I so cold, so forbidding?”

Jimmy Stewart replies, “You weren’t cold, and as for forbidding, quite the reverse. But you were a little the worse, or better, for drink, and there are rules about about that sort of thing.”

We all approve of Stewart, but his rules are a bit simplistic. A lot of people will make a sexual advance or accept one after an eccy or three, or some big glasses of wine, that they wouldn’t make or accept if they were straight and sober. But that’s no reason why people should keep their hands off each other when they’re pixified.

The real rule is that people should ask themselves, seriously, if they think the other person is likely to wake up pleased to see them there, or if the other person is going to think, “what the hell have I done, and never again.”

We all have that duty of care, and though it’s true that assholes will abuse the rule, that’s true of any rule. But you do need a rule that allows a man or a woman to go out, get a little out of the world and their heads for a while, and do silly things they wouldn’t usually do. 

Ana had that right. She was going to get laid that night, and whoever benefitted from that ambition was a very very lucky man. But it shouldn’t be me. It wasn’t the eccy. She was still my damn client.

I kissed her, though, and grinned back. “You have a fantastic night, Ana. I gotta, you know.”

“Dance with me!”  

“I will. A bit later. But I left a girl, in the kitchen, you know.” 

“Careless Jaime.” She came in a little closer, mouth to my ear. “Dance.” 

I closed my eyes. 

Probation officer #28: Armful

At our next session Ana told me she’d got a part-time gig selling burgers at the local Chicken Licken. The money sucked, she said, and her hands smelled of grease. Always, no matter how much she scrubbed when she got home.

good girlSo she said. I didn’t notice any taint of grease. But I was proud of her for getting the job, and pleased she wanted to do better. So I spent most of an hour telling her she was good. She didn’t tell me any sexual problems, that session. I told myself I was relieved about that. 

That weekend an occasional girlfriend, Delilah, took me to a party. I’ll write something about Delilah one day, because we once had this conversation on my bed. Delilah: Where’s your whip? I’ve heard you’ve got whips? Me: They’re, um, at the laundry. So I should tell you how that turned out.

Right now, though, the point is that Delilah took me to a party. We weren’t exactly together, in the sense that I’d escort her there, but not necessarily escort her home again. If she scored, then I’d be on my own. The party was in a big old house in the unfashionable suburbs. I knew some of the people from university, but it wasn’t my usual crowd.

Delilah got into a discussion with a boy in the kitchen, who carried a huge bamboo parrot on his shoulder and was prettier than me. So I pushed off, with a couple of beers, and went to inspect the dancing. 

danceThe yard behind the house was flame-lit, kerosene torches against the night, and lots of block-rocking beats. At the time I felt bleeding block-rocking bloody beats were a good thing.

There was a girl spinning among the crowd, with a head of shiny-black curly hair bobbing faster than the music, and an arse that wouldn’t keep still for a nanosecond. 

She saw me and screamed. Then she charged, her steering a little inaccurate but friendly, and I found myself with an armful of Ana. 

Probation officer #27: Spinning a yarn

And so on. I wasn’t as shaken by Ana’s story about her “troubling lesbian experience” as I had been by the long description of herself masturbating she’d given me the previous week. The masturbation story gave me little to do, or think about, as a probation officer with a duty of care. I just had the erotic images, and apparently the need to tell her that it’s okay to masturbate. 

samoan lesbians 1But with the lesbian story I could believe she had issues to work through. She’d said so. I knew that Ana’s was a conservative family. I also knew that Samoan attitude to sex could be more liberal than the mainstream in some ways, but much more conservative in most. Girl on girl play wasn’t sweet, or cute. It could be a big deal. Not in a good way.

Several of the women I’d slept with had done something sexual with another girl. If they hadn’t, they wouldn’t have been surprised at themselves if they did. The right girl, plus some wine or half a joint was all it’d take.

Ana’s story seemed to me to be a description of a reasonably skilled, and perfectly fair, girl-to-girl seduction. But Ana would have been brought up to think it was wrong. She could be genuinely concerned about her experience. She’d said she was, and I had no reason not to believe her. I thought I didn’t. 

The other reason I believed Ana’s story was that it was short. She didn’t go into the detailed erotica of her description of herself masturbating. If she had given me another story like that, I might have realised earlier that Ana was winding me up.

Anyway, I was concerned to tell her she was perfectly okay, that she could have sex with girls if she liked it. She could have sex with women for ever and ever,and that was a fine life, but she could have sex with boys, or boys and girls: whatever she liked. She hadn’t defined herself. She could do what she liked that night, and it didn’t have to be what she did another night.

When I said these things Ana thought she’d missed. Her story had hit the probation officer, not the young guy who fancied her and, amusingly, wasn’t going to do anything about it. 

As for her story, I later guessed that it was something that had happened to her sister. Ana probably hadn’t had sex with another girl when she was eighteen, though she might have later. But I hadn’t been as immune to Ana’s sister’s story as Ana thought. For several nights I was haunted by thoughts of Ana and, between her knees, another girl who looked exactly like Ana. They held each other, they kissed, they writhed together. I slept badly.

The following week Ana had no story for me. 

Probation officer #26: Ana’s girl trouble

samoan dykes“And she kissed me. But it wasn’t, you know, a friendly kiss. It was a sex kiss. I didn’t know what to do. It wasn’t right, because I’m not like that, not,” she looked down, seeking agreement and confirmation from the lap of her summer dress, “a lesbian. 

“But she told me to relax and lie back. And I know I shouldn’t, it’s not natural what she wanted, but I wanted it too.

“And then she put her hands up on my breasts, and her head between my legs. And kissed me, you know where.”

I said, “Yes.” I did know where. 

Probation officer #25: Music when soft voices die

Ana was faintly disappointed by the end of the session. My difficulty hadn’t been talking with a pretty girl about masturbation: that was easy. But I’d never talked about sexual pleasures with a client, especially not a client I desired, where every word was a danger to my peace of mind, and body. I found it all too easy to think about Ana and sexual pleasures.  

But eventually our hour was up. Ana was my last client for the evening session, so I gave her extra time. But eventually, the other probation officers finished and it was time to close the interview rooms. Ana was smiling when it was time for her to go home, but I’d managed to get through that hour and a half having offered only sensible, eminently positive and probably responsible advice and encouragement.

Gauguin-580_75130aShe’d hoped I’d be more shaken. 

She’d succeeded better than she’d known. She had seeded some images in my mind, Ana naked, alone and naked, in her bed. Her hand sliding along the inner thighs she’d been showing me. Then those thigh muscles and her buttocks taut, and naked, while she writhed. Did I mention she was naked? 

I thought about her, when I was home and alone myself. Alone and longing. I spoke her name that night.  

Probation officer #24: Ana’s troubling thoughts

Ana said, “I’m having a lot of trouble sleeping.” She sat with one leg bent so that her foot was tucked in her lap. She stared at her bent knee, twitching the hem of her skirt. 

I said, “How come?”

collarbI knew what her fingers were doing to her skirt, so I fixed my gaze on her throat. I could look at her eyes, but when I’d stared at them long enough for it to become odd, I’d glance at her collarbones. No lower. Delicate collarbones, gold brown.  

She said, “I can’t stop thinking. I try to sleep but I have thoughts. They won’t leave me alone.”

I said, still guilelessly, “what kind of thoughts?”

“Well,” Ana looked me in the eyes. “You know.”

I frowned. I didn’t see where this was going.

fap“I try to make myself too tired to think. I don’t wear, you know, pyjamas in bed. I touch myself. I stroke my, you know. I lie back and put my head under the pillow in case I make any noise. Do you think that’s wrong?” 

“Um, Ana, I don’t think you should…” I was going to say, “tell me this sort of thing”, but I stopped. I wasn’t sure I should tell a client not to tell me anything.

Maybe she should talk to me about masturbation if it troubled her. What if I was her only source of advice? Ana had watched while I hesitated. She said, “You do think it’s wrong!” She sounded stricken. 

“No, of course not. It’s not wrong at all. I didn’t mean that.” 

“You thought I shouldn’t talk to you about it!” 

“No, of course not. It’s nothing embarrassing,” I was blushing ferociously, of course. “Everybody wanks.” Ana looked at me. I said, “Even probation officers.” 

“Then I’m glad we can talk about it,” said Ana. “I trust you.” And while I took that in, she wriggled, then lifted her other leg, a process I refused to let myself watch, until she sat, cross-legged in her chair, facing me. She smiled triumphantly.

Probation officer #23: Innocence all round

I’d also said that Ana was only just beginning to understand that she was beautiful. That was true, but it presents me as a man of the world, observing Ana benignly from some secure vantage point in my own life. And that was bullshit. At 23, I was five years older than Ana, but except in having some knowledge about how the institutions of power worked I was hardly any more worldly.

We were both faking sophistication as hard as we could. We each saw through the other, more or less, and neither of us saw through ourselves. One thing I had no idea of was that Ana could be attracted to me. Like her, I was good-looking and had little understanding that this was so.

eventuallyThis was lucky, because if I’d known I’d probably have been vain about it, and that would have cancelled out my advantage. Instead, I found that girls sometimes worked their way into my bed without much effort on my part, and while I liked that, it puzzled me. It didn’t seem to be something I had any control over.

When I tried to charm a girl into bed I seemed to be less successful than when I just let her make the running. At some time, she’d put her face near mine and wait. I’d understand that I should kiss her, and I’d take the lead from there. My unawareness could be irritating but it could also be endearing. Ana liked me better, and fancied me more, than I realised.

So the games she began made no sense to me. But they were highly entertaining, and sexually interesting, to her.  

Probation officer #22: Power change

I’ve said Ana had power. Basically, that was a stupid thing to say. The only powers she had derived from me. From my politics, such as they were, and my cock.

My determination never to use the institutional powers I had over her was something I applied to all my clients, and not just her. I never terminated anyone’s probation. I’d chase them if they didn’t show up to appointments, and try to convince them that probation was actually useful. It wasn’t a way to get respect, but I never felt that my preference for being respected was all that important. 

Still, she only had the choice of turning up or not, of talking to me or not, because I allowed it. If I had different politics, Ana’s experience of probation would have been much more like being in jail. So her freedom from the most restrictive forms of probation wasn’t really freedom. It was subject to my opinions. At least it wasn’t arbitrary, but it was patronage.

non consentSimilarly, I’d taught her to be less vulnerable to police harassment. I could only do that because I could move safely among police officers, and knew the things that they were drawn towards and the things that frustrated them. She got that small piece of knowledge and power from me. Still, at least I couldn’t take it back. She had that knowledge for good, and she’d seen that it worked.

The other power was that she was beautiful, and that I was in unwilling lust with her. But that wasn’t something she’d asked for, particularly. It didn’t do her much practical good. Perhaps, after my adolescent, tumescent stupidity in that van, I’d taken extra care to be actually useful. Over-compensation can have its uses.

But still, and still, we can be complicated.  

Probation officer #21: Power not exchanged

The probation officer was white, educated, professional and, though he’d never mentioned it, he had the power to end her probation. Terminating her probation would automatically put her in jail. In that state, it wouldn’t even have to go in front of a judge.

samoaThe girl was brown, she hadn’t finished school and she didn’t have a job, and she couldn’t put him in jail. But she could make him feel like an ugly boy, tongue-tied and scruffy, with a look. She was becoming more conscious of her beauty, and her power. 

There are things that men do, when power has swung that way, to reclaim it. Some men try to be charming and seductive so that they are wanted in return. Some men turn mean.

The probation officer didn’t have those options. The girl was his client and he was supposed to be a professional. Even if he felt his professionalism had all the tensile strength, just then, of a moth-eaten hotel bathrobe. At least he’d made it clear that he wasn’t going to fuck her even if she wanted him to. He’d hoped that meant that sex was out of the way, now.

Of course he could never be right about that. He was a young, sexually active man, and only a few years older than the girl. He wasn’t undesirable. And he’d made it clear that he was safe.

He’d given her several projects, things to do about employment and education. She worked on those projects, but she added another one. She set about the sexual torture of her probation officer.