Probation Officer #56: Negritude and muscutude, or: Minne Mouse is black

I thought about the picture of Minnie Mouse on my toilet wall. Was Sa’afia right? Was Minnie black?

Early Disney still of Minnie Mouse dolling herself up. Patched clothes, loose shoes, black skin.

Early Disney still of Minnie Mouse dolling herself up. Patched clothes, loose shoes, black skin, in a 1930s illustration..

Minnie had a whitish face, but the back of her head and all you could see of her body was black. That wasn’t all that uncommon with racist caricatures, if the black woman was being depicted as attractive.

So Minnie was a black girl. It was odd that I’d never even thought of it before. “Bugger me,” I said. 

“Don’t pretend to be an idiot. You knew that.”

Sa’afia, while not angry, was less amused than I was by the thought that I might have a thing for black women. I came back to alertness and lifted my head off the pillow.

I was pretty sure I’d never specialised in women from any racial group, though most of my lovers had been white girls. Most people in the cities and towns where I’d spent most of my life were some kind of white. But all that Sa’afia knew about my sexual history was that I fancied her and her cousin Ana. So, taking La Minnie into account, I might appear to be a sort of racial souvenir-hunter, some coup-counter, making a specialty of black women.

There seemed to be more disreputable reasons than admirable ones for white guys to be chasing black women in particular, and Sa’afia was asking me if one of them was mine. There were racists who assumed that black girls were easier, and there was a reality that they were likely to be poorer and less powerful, so a man who wanted a less independent woman might think that was a good place to look. There were tiresome ideas about black girls as darkly sexual and savage (“black girls just want to ball all night; honey, I aint got the jam”). There were white boys who fetishised black women, or who sought them out because of white guilt or because they wanted to prove that they weren’t racist. Those things were tiresome too, because they weren’t personal. Any black woman would do, for that.

I said, “I had a girlfriend. She called herself Cherry Jones, because she was trying to make it as an actor. She did some revues, and some awful independent theatre, while she was with me. And she’d played Juliet, she’d played Lady MacBeth even, and that woman whose name isn’t Virginia Woolf in the play about people being scared of Virginia Woolf.”

“Martha. The Liz Taylor role.”

737994blackandwhitedisneyminniemouseFavimcom534093“For fuck’s sake. Yeah, probably. So Cherry went to Europe, and she found that the only gig she could get was Minnie Mouse. At Disneyland Paris. I’ve got a photo of her in the costume. She asked me, ‘So does my bum look big in this stupid fucking plastic prosthetic mouse-arse thing?’”

“Ok. I bet it did.”

“Couldn’t deny it. Anyway, Cherry sent me the signed Minnie Mouse pic.”

“So you didn’t go for us Samoan girls because we’re Samoan girls, is what you’re saying.”

“Ana just happened to me. I didn’t put her on my caseload. And then so did you: happened. I mean I met you through Ana, and I’m pleased I met you, any way it happened. But you were sexy at a party. I reckon I’d have gone for you anyway.” 

“Sexy at a party. Ok.”

Probation Officer #55: The great woman of the night

It was after one in the morning.

spoonI lay on my side with Sa’afia spooned against me. I had my arm round her, and my hand cupped her breast. A soft breast, with a hard purple-black nipple. It moved when she breathed. It was tender, in my hand, a reason why men might love women.

Her bottom glowed pleasantly warm now, but it had been burning hot not so long ago.

When I’d last seen it, her ass had been a beautiful brownish red. But the night had got colder while we’d fucked, and eventually I’d let her slip under the bedcovers. While we’d fucked I’d spanked her, just with my hand but hitting hard till it hurt her.

She’d sworn, and bitten my forearm while I hurt her, and claimed all of my cock inside her. We’d fucked hard, and we’d found that so long as I gave her cunt plenty of attention she didn’t seem to have a point at which a hand spanking could hurt her more than she liked.

Some time early in the night she said she’d lost count of her orgasms. I didn’t know how many she had, either. But she screamed her pleasure over and over, politely thanking me each time, as if I saved her soul when she came. More prosaically I came just three times, but they had left me happily exhausted.

We lay breathing together with the light out. The half-moonlight flowed through Sa’afia’s window, catching highlights in her hair and the shiny sweat on her face. There were photographs above her bed, scenes of a Samoan village, in a wooden frame studded with seashells. There was a poster of the young, wet-lipped Mick Jagger, and a charcoal drawing, simply framed, of Hine-Nui-te-Po, the Great Woman of the Night, goddess of death, feeding her children.

hine 1Hine-Nui-te-Po was a Maori goddess, not a Samoan one, but the drawing was somberly beautiful. I knew why she would want to have it. I suspected it was quite valuable. The furniture was simple and old, in mahogany or whitewashed. There was something nautical, sailorish, about the taste and style. 

 I squeezed her breast affectionately. People who worked in the morning needed to fall asleep soon. Sa’afia was a gofer at a local law firm, where they liked having a well-presented Samoan woman regularly walking across the reception area. In fact she was studying chemistry, but there were no relevant jobs in a small city. She didn’t want to work at a chemist.

Sa’afia wasn’t ready to sleep, though. I could see she was frowning. 

“You said you think Minnie Mouse is sexy.” 

I didn’t realise immediately that this was dangerous ground. “Yeah, it’s the bow. And the clumpy shoes. And she’s always flashing her knickers.”

Sa’afia said, “and she’s black. Have you always liked the black girls then?”

“Minnie Mouse is black?” 

Probation officer #48: Just her

minnieThere was a picture of Minnie Mouse pinned to Sa’afia’s front door. I took that as a message to me. On Sunday she’d wondered why I had a framed, signed picture of Minnie Mouse on my toilet wall, and I’d claimed that I thought she – the mouse, that is – was sexy. Sa’afia’s printer was running out of pink, which is a bit of a disadvantage if you want to print out a picture of La Minnie. But it was a nice thought.

Instead of knocking and waiting I tried the door. It was unlocked so I let myself in, locking the door behind me.

A huge tapa cloth, tan, white and black, covered most of the left corridor wall. I knew the words “‘aiga” (family) and “alofa” (love), but I couldn’t make out what it had to say about those things, beyond that it likely to be favourable. There were doors to the right but I followed my nose and ears – I could hear Sa’afia humming – through to the back of the house and the kitchen.

bicSa’afia wasn’t naked. She was leaning over the stove in baggy jeans and an ancient tee-shirt that must once have been red: Bic Runga, Pacific Voice. It had to be a bootleg, but that only made it cool. That’s enough connoisseurship from me, for a while? But I watched her rump wiggle in the baggy denim for a few long seconds before I said, “you must have a couple of glasses.”

“Jaime!” She charged me with a wooden spoon she’d just pulled out of something yellow and chilli-savoury. I put my bottles on the table and took the spoon off her, balancing it on the edges of a fruit bowl before I let her wrap herself around me. I was wearing a white shirt, and I’ve never been lucky with white shirts and yellow curries. I put my hands on her jeans and then slid them under her jeans to cup her ass, left and right, before I said, “Girl.”

I nuzzled her. I liked her flat nose. It was pretty, though it showed mine up as kind of pointy. “Yeah, you look good. You feel good.”

“You feel good.” She said it like an accusation.

I smacked her arse, something that despite her urging I’d not dome to Ana. It felt good and she didn’t stop kissing me, so I smacked her again. “You aren’t naked.”

“You’ve seen me naked.”

“Oh, that was it, was it?”

“And you’ve seen me in my party things. And you’ve me wearing your clothes, pretending to be a good Christian girl. Well, I thought you could see … me. This is just… me.”

I smacked her arse again. I had no excuse for that. “Well, just you looks pretty fucking good.”

She said, “Just you feels … Oh.”

She said “oh” because of the erection that confirmed what I thought of just her, and because I pulled her tee-shirt up and – she raised her arms – off. “I’m cooking!”

She had to say that because I’d turned her and pushed down over the table, and undone the catch of the bra.

I turned the stove off. There were curries. They would keep. And poured a glass of wine. We could share it. Then I said something so cheesy that even now the memory of saying it makes me cringe. “So am I.”