target practice -- II
Ephraim stops by Mordecai’s studio to pick up his wife. Being a refinished barn, it is cavernous. At first he looks around and thinks the place is deserted.
“Help me, Eph!” comes a voice from above. His open-mouthed stare is at a tied-up Mitzi ten feet above him. Suspended from a single rope, she is facing downward, a lariat in her hair holding her head up, her bowlined arms folded behind her, her shins tied to the backs of her thighs so that her heels dig into her butt. Her breasts are looped at the base so that they stick out from her body even more than usual, bulging unnaturally and dangling, as big as pomelos.
“Hi, Ephraim,” Mordecai says casually. He is in his stocking feet and Ephraim sees that mattresses have been placed on the floor. The artist hops onto one of them and lobs a tennis ball at the left pomelo. It hits her painlessly but achieves the effect of making the breast wobble like a punching bag, slapping against the other breast which wobbles too. The impact causes Mitzi to slowly rotate. She exhales in irritation and wiggles her fingers and toes.
Ephraim notices that there are dozens of tennis balls strewn around the studio. Now with exasperation mixed with a little amusement he says, “Mordecai, take her down.”
Mordecai waits until Mitzi has rotated halfway, then throws a ball at the right breast. This reverses the rotation of the suspended nude. “In a moment.”
Ephraim, in his business suit as usual, takes off his fedora and shakes his head. “Honey, how could you let him do this?”
“It sounded like fun. But not when he -- tied my boobs with this verstunkener rope -- it’s like -- barbed wire. And I feel all squeezed. The circulation is cut off. Mord, if you -- put one of those infernal clips on me again I wouldn’t feel it.” To the side is a small table with various nipple “adornments”, alongside a new Revere “Eye-Matic” movie camera.
“You exaggerate. Anyway, Eph, I’m doing an installation next week on how our society misuses the female body.”
“Looks like you’re the one misusing it.” The staid lawyer watches as Mordecai throws another ball; this one grazes a distended nipple. “You’re just reenacting what looks like a 13-year-old boy’s fantasy.”
Mordecai laughs. “Yes, I always wanted to do this with Sylvia Grabowski.” Now he tries one from the front. It hits the right breast and because of the angle it doesn’t touch the left one. “See that? Each boob rebounds three times. The left one, sometimes four times.”
Ephraim smiles and, to his wife’s wide-eyed horror, picks up a ball that has rolled to his feet. “Sorry, hon.” Poor Mitzi’s breasts are now barraged by rapid-fire tennis volleys from the two men. The pomelos dance and rebound and jostle wildly and she is made to rotate again, then swing back and forth. The men are not throwing hard; it’s more like pitching horseshoes. “Stop it! Stop it you . . . schlumppen!” In her frustration at not being able to fight back, her arms and legs shake, which only causes her to swing more widely. Mordecai and Ephraim try curveballs, jump shots, hitting the pomelos from every angle.
In the car on the way home, Mitzi is still annoyed. She pushes her breasts this way and that, checking for rope marks. She has always been a good sport about being Mordecai’s model, she’s flattered by it, but sometimes he goes too far. “It wasn’t terrible but . . . You didn’t have to join in.”
“I, too, was once a 13-year-old boy.”