Student or Learner
Would you please correct my mistakes in the eleventh part of my short story?
As I walked from one window to another and looked at all those bodies and heavily made-up faces, I did not feel any sexual desire. On the contrary, I pitied those women who sat or stood in their scanty clothes and waited for men to put condoms on their organs and penetrate their bodies for a handful of marks. They seemed to be of all ages and races, from teenagers with beautiful, high-cheek faces and skin like a peach, who could have become professional models if their lives had turned out differently to mature woman whose prematurely aged faces, wrinkles, and yellow teeth bore witness of their hard work. I looked them in the eye, but could not find a bit of happiness. How many mouths they had to feed? Did the pimps beat them when they had not earned enough? Did they hide their profession from their families and have time for their children at all, or meet someone who loved them as they were? I wished I had power and means to transport them to a place where they would never need to sell their bodies again.
They customers were of all ages, from young men in their early twenties to the old pensioners with sticks, who shuffled and breathed heavily. They did not loiter or feel compunction about paying for sex, but seemed to be in hurry to come and release their sperms into the little rubber pouches, which would then end in rubbish bins. After awhile, they would all step outside and dash to their homes, relieved and satisfied. They probably did not care that the women were acting and their excitement were not real as long as their own organs functioned as they should.
Before us were two middle-aged women sitting on barstools. They wore black underwear, fishnet stockings and high-heeled sandals. They were both smoking, seemed to be bored, and looked at us with indifference until Miroslav beckoned one of them. A prostitute slowly climbed off the stool, and opened the upper part of the shop window, still puffing at her cigarette. Its smell mixed with her sweet perfume wafted into my nostrils. Before I managed to ask what was his intention Miroslav said, “How much?” His interest seemed to have dispelled her boredom and her eyes shone. “50,” she said and drew deeply on her cigarette. “I have only 30; could you give me a discount?” Her expression turned hostile in an instant. She spat at him, swore, and slammed the window so hard that the pane rattled, before pulling the blind down. He laughed, took me by the hand and led me into the main street. I felt pity for the woman and said, “Why did you do that?” “To show you how damaged they are. You can’t work here and stay healthy.”
We walked just a few meters when he told me we were going to the cinema. I had not been to a cinema for years. On previous occasions, together with my school class I watched partisan films in which a hero mowed down dozens of Nazis with his machine gun, or stopped the whole division of the aggressor’s army, and I started to dislike cinema, crowds and gatherings. I felt like an outsider and could not understand how masses could consume all that propaganda without asking themselves what damage it caused to their minds. I was going to tell Miroslav I would rather stay outside, but he pulled me with him into a dusky hallway with the large posters of naked women and men. The titles: A Wet Dream, Breathless, Roommates, Easy Money...were emblazoned in large shiny letters.
“What is this?” I asked him.
“Porn,” he said. “24 hours a day.”
I wanted to run outside. Even that I was in a foreign country where nobody knew me, I felt ashamed. I did not know why, but I had always associated porn with lonely men who could not find a woman of flesh and blood and instead found solace in moving pictures on the screen. I turned to Miroslav to tell him we’d better leave, but he was at the box office buying the tickets and two cans of Fanta from a drowsy old man, who probably wished to be sleeping in his bed by now. The cinema was multiplex, and we went into the largest hall. It was sparsely populated, and we sat in the crimson, comfortable seats at the back. Loud groans and moans mixed with German words sounded from the hidden loudspeakers. On the screen, a cluster of naked men and women copulated in a gym. The actors and actresses were from different races and had different skin colours, but they all spoke German, despite the film being American. The actors were professionals and performed their roles with commitment and skill, but I could not but laugh at the incongruity I felt listening to the actress ordering her partner above her, “Schneller, schneller, faster, faster!” And, “Tiefer, tiefer, deeper, deeper!” These orders I had heard in some partisan films I saw before. The cruel SS guards shouted them out, beating viciously their prisoners while they escorted them to a prison camp, and then they shouted them again while the prisoners dug their own graves. Even funnier was to hear black actors or Thai or Japanese actresses speaking fluent German. But already after a short time, I felt bored and wanted to leave. We went into the smaller hall and were met with the similar groans, moans, and body movements, only the interior was different. This time it was a large indoors pool.
TO BE CONTINUED