The Erotic Études Opus VI
Étude XIV - Felix
I shook my head firmly. "No. No I don't want to go to Eisenstadt." Felix was giving me that look, which said he knew more than he was letting on, but was not going to admit it, even if put to torture.
"So - why not? Do I get to know why not or is this just one of your petulant mysteries?"
"Felix, why is 'no' not an answer for you? Isn't 'no' enough?"
"In this case, it is a rather dramatic statement. They are the chief employers of all composers and all orchestra pieces in the Empire. To refuse to accept hospitality at all - is a statement. A rather significant one. I thought you wanted to publish in the Empire."
I gave him a dark look. I could see this was going to be a difficult confrontation. Felix was determined to introduce me to Prince Johan, and I was just as determined to avoid him. My relationship with Liszt, and its difficult aftermath, still stung. What was worse, was the letters I began to receive from Liszt's new protégé, my former acquaintance, Wagner.
My detestation of Liszt's political wranglings grew with each passing year, and my unfortunate liaison with him, so naively entered upon, hung over me like a terrible storm cloud. If I could succumb so facilely to Liszt, what would the most powerful man in the Empire do to me? Oh this, I could not do… Oh. No. Not even under Felix's protection. How could he protect me from the Empire?
I stayed with him a few nights before he convinced me to talk to him about it. I wrote long and maudlin letters to Klara with specious excuses, praising her concerts, promising her my undying love, and spent long hours soaking in his luxurious bath with him and making love in a languid way.
Felix was a Hedonist of the first order. To him, work came first and always, and when work was done, pleasure reigned. I was not so orderly nor so disciplined as to follow this and relied upon him for it, as it were, a spa of sensuality in the sumptuous privacy of his house. He had servants, but they were inconspicuous and respectful.
He had a Flügel in his rooms, and we need never venture beyond the end of the bed to the piano or to the violin, and he composed with violin as often as with piano. And he listened. For hours, he listened, doing nothing but lying still in the bath, while I composed, and lavished an adoring kiss on me when I completed another phrasing of the Symphony. This seemed to be the only way he could draw it out of me, for I was far too panicked by his plan for Wien to do anything, and he was silent on it, completely. I knew nothing for three nights but his tender caresses, his sweet murmuring, his undemanding mouth. And I clung to him, in desire and in fear. Until… until..
"He came to see me, you know."
Felix looked up over his spectacles and lay down his pen. He was sipping coffee, and writing the bass voicings for his oratorio. To his credit, he did not say 'who?'
"That is why I cannot go. Must not go."
Silence. Watching. I nearly cried out in frustration and tossed my pen at him. "Are you listening Felix? I said Liszt came to me!"
"Yes, I heard that."
"He -" I stopped. I chewed on my pen. I rose and lighted a cigar, just to irritate him.
"Oh not. That." He waved me out of doors, and I left to smoke, pacing on his balcony.
I returned an interminable time later. "You know he fucked me."
"God damn you Felix have you nothing in you?"
"I know you have had others. I have a wife. You know I lay with her, she has been pregnant a number of times… All this is known…"
"Damn you Felix!" I cried.
He chewed the end of his pen, an unusual gesture for one so consummately calm.
"Did you enjoy him?"
"No! Yes! I don't know!" I hated his calm. I wanted to shatter it. He was more maddening, in his own way, than Glock.
"Maybe you could use another cigar. Or do you want me to give you a treatment?"
It was better than immersion baths, but combined with an immersion bath, it washed from me all the tension and pentup hatred that Liszt had pounded into me and which I could not wipe out. And I felt, in his hands, that he was both making love to me and healing me at the same time. I did not ask where he learned it, nor did I care to know if it was something in the Jewish pharmacopoeia, or in the Kama Sutra, but I grew unaccountably warm and pleasant at the sight of the unassuming apparatus he slipped inside me gently and let fill with mineral water and oil… and I grew still, very very still. He explained that he had learned from his physicians that all disease is introduced by either food or by environment, and that the bane of a sedentary life was a stilled digestion, and this was certainly very true of me. He was more active, being a conductor, and abominably thin, but I did not have his strength of constitution, my eating habits, slovenly. And I, as the female partner, was a rude recipient of sexual attention as I grew past youth… but he had a solution, literally. I lay in his arms for this procedure while he soothed me, and drained the basin away from my sight, while I lay insensible, and for hours later I was aroused, gradually, gradually, as though the sensation of this subtle undercurrent of pleasure were a given, not as much a reward as an expected condition. And upon his return, when I lay far more than ready, he might take me, he might not, as I willed it, and I willed it far too often… it did not matter to him. He cared only for me, selflessly. He would have chafed my broken hand for a week, it did not matter. He never raised his voice…. So why?
"He… drugged me, and took me by force."
"Mmm hmmm… " he replied, noncommittal, stroking my chest, his violinist's fingers plucking gently at the hairs that he found to pluck, pizzicato, descending the scale to the aching font of my desire, and as I yearned toward his hand, aching, desirous, he would make me come to him, always, always. He knew the politics of submissiveness, the politesse required of someone to whom pleasure is always denied unless selflessly offered -- everything about him was a graceful motion of musical pleasure. An angel of music in the body of a lyre, he forced me by his casualness to a rage of sensual aggression, and I forced myself against his hand, insistent, and he smiled. Merely smiled, and I grew hot from it.
"Do not expect that from me, I am incapable of such play," he murmured, sucking delicately on the end of the fingers of my injured hand, one by one, which he had wept over so bitterly. Felix, do not weep over the hand that does not write but only plays the klavier….
"I don't want that from you… no that is not true… I have dreamt of it many times, in a rage of desire, but never with his face… his contemptuous face, only… yours, Lieber…" I kissed him deeply, longingly, I put myself into his passive arms and begged him to take me, and when he did not, buried my head between his thighs to aggress him into his desire with my mouth. Yet the more relaxed and gentle he became, the more animated did I. He knew how to do this to me as no one did. I was empty, empty, dying to be filled. He had emptied me out already, and I was alight with the need for him. He was languid, and I grew angry…
" I want you! Please."
"I cannot take you by force, Geliebt. That thought is abhorrent." His quiet words shocked me.
"I did not want you to --"
"Yes, you did. You are angry with Liszt for his seduction and you wish me to seduce you this selfsame way. No, no…. no I will not." Tears glistened in his eyes, though he lay ready.
"You are not he!"
"Does it matter?" My voice rose in a parody of lust, to some mad unreasoning cry, but he was quiet and still. "I must… I must… you cannot leave me this way, in need."
"I cannot. Unless you dispel this desire for me to harm you… I must not."
No, as … as before. I raised his passive hand and placed it on me, to force him to touch me, and it was impossible, impossible. He was inert.
"I am not your attacker," he said pointedly, the resonance in his voice provoking my desire and fear simultaneously.
"No…. no, yes." I was overwhelmed with confusion. To my complete surprise, I lost all desire, and collapsed against him, sobbing wildly. From somewhere beyond my pain, or even conscious thought, I sobbed out the painful tale of Liszt's occupation of my rooms on the Inselstrasse, the nights he intruded upon my passion and twisted it to his taste, while by day filling my ears with obsessive ranting on his plans for his career, and my own, in Wien and Prague and Esterházy. I was helpless… while he drank his way through my wine cellar, modest though it was, read my personal letters to Klara and joked crudely over their sentiments, and even more loudly over her gushing letters to me. He even laughed loudly at one that referred to him, and threw it down on the floor in contempt.
"I think she believes that I will be marrying you rather than she, Robert," he had said. "She hasn't a large enough cock for you I warrant." I was silent in the face of his vulgar abuse. It was clear that he was jealous of her, but also, from her letters, that she was jealous of him. She knew we had taken up as lovers. What was I then, simply their plaything? This… I detested. A plaything, something for them to use to generate music and pleasure for themselves.
I wept in Felix's arms, my passion fled from me in the pain of what outwelled, bleeding, from my soul. And he murmured into my hair, wordlessly, some music from his own boundlessly compassionate soul, as though he had nothing else in the world to do but hold me and restore me to life.
After an endless time, I lost consciousness and slept, and in my sleep, I wept and cried out, more terrified than when I was a child riding on the high road with my parents from Chemnitz to Zwickau, with the moldering corpses of Napoleon's defeated army piled high and reeking by the roadside. I burrowed into him, a child seeking the unutterable comfort of its mother's breast, and he embraced me chastely, as a mother might. He sang to me then, a wordless lullaby, and after long hours of the night I woke, myself again.
Felix lay awake, and I craved a cigar. I gently disentangled myself from him, and threw on my robe, wondering when I had ever felt so lost, so vulnerable. I could not recall, for it had fled me in the weeping of the night before. I went out, pacing, to the balcony once again and stood half-naked in the pitch darkness, where beyond, the Opernhaus and its gardens were illuminated by gaslights. Beyond their glow was the Berlinerplatz, and the road to my rooms on the Inselstrasse. Too painful to return to, now, in the flush of memory. I would stay a few more days with Felix. I returned to the bedroom, leaving the door slightly open to let in a cool breeze. He had wakened fully now, and lay with the coverlet turned back. He had on his face a curious expression and I stopped, wondering.
"Come here, Lieber," he said in a low, desirous tone, musical and thrilling.
I went to him, curling up next to him in the bed, and his swift hand went round my chin, raising it up to kiss him.
"I want you," he said, simply, his breath on my lips. And kissed me deeply, his mouth parting slightly to allow his tongue to explore my mouth. I grew alight, again, and I said "Yes" in that barely-heard whisper from so long ago, the whisper of my shy acceptance, my coward's response, which I dare not speak aloud.
"I wish to take you," he explained, in the small drama of his desire, "I wish… my dear", holding my fingers to his lips, "to woman you." And a thrill of pleasure ran completely up my spine as he spoke the litany of Eros.
"Yes, yes," I whispered again, as he moved to cover me swiftly with his body, the graceful form which had lain largely passive to my intrusion, now quick, catlike, as he grasped my organ and woke me to readiness.
"I cannot wait, I must have you, " he spoke again, this time into my ear, and then his tongue slid into my ear, and only moments later, he had spread me out beneath him and entered me rapidly. Unresisting, I moaned aloud as I accepted him. He had rendered me deliciously helpless. The one thing I craved intensely. I strained back against the flesh inside of me, to draw a greater thrust from him, and this threw off his balance and he slipped free of me. I sighed, awaiting him… awaiting him…
"Ah no matter…" he murmured, and turned me to put me facing from him, on my knees, he moved behind me and I felt one steadying hand upon my hip and again the delightful intrusion that caused me to tremble pleasurably, and he grasped me by the hips and thrust swiftly, to which I answered with a lingering moan, and once again, strained to move back against him to receive his full length, and the full measure of his desire, into my womb. "Ah Felix, bitte…" I wanted to say something more, but had become incoherent by the time his practiced body wrought from me my pleasure, and the climax that spilled from me, spattered Felix's silk sheets. For long hours, we lay holding one another once again, in peace, and he kissed me a thousand times, a thousand, thousand times, and with each kiss, a wound was forgotten -- a vulgarity, erased -- a jealousy, eased. After we slept, we made love again in Felix's sumptuous bath, the iniquities of Fame, sealed beyond the door. We did not speak of Eisenstadt again.
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The Erotic Etudes Index
[ I ]
[ II ]
[ III ]
[ IV ]
[ V ]
[ VI ]
[ VII ]
[ VIII ]
[ IX ]
[ X ]
[ XI ]
[ XII ]
[ XIII ]
[ XIV ]
[ XV ]
[ XVI ]
[ XVII ]
[ XVIII ]