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Fiction #245
(published September 22, 2005)
A Brief Courtship of Tamatra, the Vagina-Free Woman
by Andy Henion
The woman shouts for me to come in instead of answering the door despite the fact that she does not know me and I could be a multi-state rapist and/or serial killer. I consequently open the door and enter a foyer to find the woman painting abstract figures on the living room walls while listening to salsa music and sucking a thick cigar. Without looking at me the woman continues to splash paint on the walls and says, What do you think? and I say, Very interesting, even though I am looking not at the walls but instead at the woman who is tall and brunette and bare shouldered in a white dress splattered with blue paint. She is not at all like her brother the field boss described and the truth is I am captivated by the woman which makes me feel guilty given the fact that I am a married albeit separated fellow who is here only because the field boss promised to promote me to associate field boss if I went on a date with his sister.

Quite suddenly the woman drops her paintbrush into a deep walled frying pan on the hardwood flooring and looks at me and says, Come. I follow her into a dining room where a large table is adorned with a wealth of vegetarian foodstuffs including twice baked gourd and lentil paste on hardened rye minitoast. The woman takes a seat, places the cigar in an ashtray and says, Here's what you need to know, Skipper. I was born without the female sex organ. That means I am vagina free. That means I am unburdened by the monthly evils that other women face, god bless them. That means I am unable to produce children, which, so far at least, has not been an emotional issue. And, perhaps most importantly, that means I do not have to play the bullshit games that other women play with you fuckin' knuckle draggers.

The vagina free woman picks up the cigar and takes a long drag and stares at me slit-eyed while I process the preceding information. She says, That's a lot to absorb, I know, Skipper, and I find myself nodding absently. At this point the vagina free woman laughs and motions toward the foodstuffs and says, Eat up, I want you to have the energy to tell me all about yourself. I subsequently comply and proceed to consume a healthy amount of the foodstuffs and drink several containers of vegetable juice while the vagina free woman works on her cigar and looks upon me with a curious expression.

Afterward the vagina free woman lights me a cigar and I puff and cough vigorously while explaining the inexplicable series of events that took me from my home in the upper Midwest and landed me with no worldly possessions in our current location in the deep south. I then describe my plan to raise enough money by picking sweet potatoes to travel to my mother in law's home in Dubuque, Iowa, where my wife and infant son are staying. I find that the vagina free woman is extremely easy to talk to and that she asks direct but honest questions such as, Why is your old lady at her mom's in the first place? and I tell her it is more or less of a marital separation, and she says, And how did that come about? and I say, We don't talk much and when we do we usually end up fighting, and she says, How long has that been going on? and I say, About six years, and she grimaces and says, Sounds like it's been over for some time, doesn't it Skipper? I acknowledge as much by pursing my lips and bobbing my head, and the vagina free woman invites me into the living quarters where we sit on a dung colored futon and I can't help but notice the her dress ride up on her shapely thighs. The vagina free woman says, You need to see it, don't you? All you fuckin' knuckle draggers need to see it. She proceeds to lay back on the futon and pull up her dress and spread her legs to reveal an area free of undergarments. She indeed does not possess a vagina but everything else appears to be intact and my heart beats rapidly in my chest and just as the vagina free woman is sitting back up I crawl on top of her and begin to caress her body with my fingers and tongue. The vagina free woman says, Whoa, Skipper, but soon thereafter reciprocates my advances and we spend the next twenty eight minutes executing myriad lovemaking maneuvers that do not require a vagina.

Once we are finished I lounge on the futon and take deep breaths and wipe the beads of sweat from my forehead. The vagina free woman stands and says, Now it's Tamatra's turn, and walks naked into another room and returns shortly wearing a black mask and carrying a pronged instrument similar to the one law enforcement authorities use to incapacitate perpetrators. Tamatra glides toward me with a maniacal smile on her face and the apparatus held out in front of her. She pulls the trigger several times to demonstrate what the device can do, and my sphincter constricts and my testicles shrink up into my body as it buzzes and sparks. I briefly consider bolting from the house, sans clothing, but then I think, If this is what Tamatra needs in lieu of a vagina, I hereby submit, and I manage to remain still until the smoking prongs meet my flesh.

In an airplane over Oklahoma Tamatra consumes vodka shots and discusses our situation with the stunning albino woman in the window seat. The two women talk in the easy tones of individuals who know one another, a process that involves crinkling noses and petting thighs and sharing sensitive information. Tamatra is not at all encumbered by inhibition and I decide right there in my aisle seat that she is the most direct woman I have ever known, more direct even than Mrs. Perkins, my seventh grade instructor who once told the class that I was manipulating my genitals in the back row when in fact I was adjusting my jeans which had become irritatingly tight due to repeated washings with bleach.

To the stunning albino woman Tamatra says, of me, Typical modern romance. He gets married out of college and spends the next decade regretting it. You know the type, honey, so pent up they practically rape you on the first date.

The stewardess comes by and Tamatra and the stunning albino woman do not look at me as they reach for their drinks, and I think, This cannot be good, and I sip liberally on my third alcoholic beverage mixed with lemon lime soda and experience a significant wooziness caused by an excess of liquor flowing through my bloodstream.

Tamatra says, I'm paying his way to Iowa so he can tell his wife about me, and then she leans over and whispers much too loudly, Fuckin' babysitting trip, and the two women laugh in what I judge to be a demeaning manner, and I consider being direct myself and saying, Did Tamatra tell you she likes to wear a mask during relations like the Lone Fuckin' Ranger? Or that she can only get off with the aid of electrical products? But instead I remain silent and take a drink of my alcoholic beverage mixed with lemon lime soda.

Tamatra says, I got a nice little ranch outside San Antone. Sixty acres, horses, hot tub. Stay as long as you want. Be nice to have someone to talk to. These fuckin' knuckle draggers, I'll tell you what. Three inches of muscle between their legs and three ounces of brain between their ears.

I find myself offended by the three inches comment and I decide in my drunken state to take the direct tack as well. I say, Why don't you tell your girlfriend the truth Tamatra? Tell her you have no vagina.

The women go silent and stare at me as if I have just sledgehammered a basket of kittens. The stunning albino woman says, That's just rude, and Tamatra says, You sorry ass motherfucker, get your ass out of my sight. I stare at her for a moment and she spits on my face and says, The fuck out.

I wipe Tamatra's saliva off my chin and take my alcoholic beverage mixed with the lemon lime soda to the back of the fuselage where a group of young men with shaved heads are drinking what appears to be beer and singing along to familiar ditties. There are several empty seats and I say, Mind? and a close cropped young man wearing a Hawkeye Rugby sweatshirt says, Sit, dude, and I comply and before long I am consuming dark ale and singing "King of the Road" with the crew. The stewardess puts her finger to her lips to shush us but her attempt is only half hearted and I get the feeling that the stewardesses themselves are caught up in the hoopla and only later will I find out that I am partying with the recently crowned national champions of collegiate rugby and that rugby players have quite a following of female admirers based on their confident attitudes and extraordinary stamina.

In the midst of the party the captain comes over the loudspeaker and explains that one of the engines is undergoing some minor difficulties and there is absolutely no reason to panic but the decision has been made to land in Kansas City and switch airplanes, a process that will likely take about ninety minutes depending upon the availability of the needed aircraft. The announcement brings a sudden and lengthy silence to the passengers until one of the rugby players shouts, Party in Kansas City, and the whole group of stamina laden athletes resumes the beer drinking and ditty singing. I proceed to slug down the remainder of my beer and I feel my innards gurgle and I search the seat back in front of me for a vomit bag but find nothing but an airline magazine and a hardened piece of gum stuck to the material, and I lean over and gag and nearly vomit on the floor but somehow regain control of my internal processes. The rugby player next to me jumps up and shouts, Gagger, and then, Beat down, and he and the other athletes one by one punch me vigorously on the shoulder in some kind or ritual and/or punishment for nearly voiding the contents of my stomach, and I can only imagine the punishment I would have received if I had indeed heaved. The resulting soreness in my shoulders helps keeps my mind off my troubled innards and my burgeoning headache, and soon I doze off and proceed to sleep through the landing and wake up only as my fellow passengers are unbuckling their seatbelts and standing.

I experience a sudden swell of regret that I have permanently soured things with Tamatra and thus will never see her again and I surge into the aisle but there are several dozen people between her and I waiting to exit the airplane, and I force myself to wait patiently as the passengers retrieve their luggage from the overhead bins and subsequently shuffle along toward the exit where the stewardesses are offering forced smiles and head nods.

Once inside the terminal I spot Tamatra and the stunning albino woman walking shoulder to shoulder in front of the All American Diner which is offering a hamburger and french fries for the Great Deal! of eight dollars and ninety nine cents, not including tax. I hustle toward them and say, Tamatra, wait, and she turns and says, Goddamn stalker, and I move very close to Tamatra and hold my palms out in a surrendering fashion and say, It matters not that you lack a vagina, really it—and at this point Tamatra punches me very firmly in the nose and my head snaps back and I find myself tottering a bit and then I fall onto the terminal floor on my buttocks. I look down and see blood draining onto my shirt and I pinch my nostrils and subsequently notice the rugby players descending on our position. As I stand in a rather wobbly fashion and take a step toward Tamatra, one of the rugby players says in an excited tone, He's going back for more, and the rugby players form a circle around us and begin chanting, Kick his ass, kick his ass, and I cannot help but experience a certain amount of betrayal from these close cropped young athletes with whom I shared dark ale and jovial times, albeit for less than twenty minutes.

Again I move very close to Tamatra and say, You are my stun gun, baby, and Tamatra again throws a roundhouse but this time I am prepared and subsequently duck the punch. I proceed to wrap my arms around Tamatra's torso in a bear hug and she flails and growls helplessly as the stunning albino woman jumps on my back and begins pulling my hair and screeching in a piercing manner and I notice several of the rugby players doubled over in laughter and the airport security personnel sprinting in our direction as the three of us fall to the floor in a messy love triangle.

First published on Raging Face.

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