Wednesday, September 26, 2012

FRENCH AIR STEWARDESSES by Peter Nolan Smith


Air stewardess were sex symbols in the 60s and 70s. These airborne beauties flew from city to city and country to country with a smile. The uniforms were designed by fashion houses. Air travel was cool and the stewardesses were sexy in a good way.

The sexiest air hostesses were from foreign countries with Air France girls exuding a special availability at high altitudes special and they dormed overnight in an apartment high rise next to Hurrah on West 62nd Street, where I worked as the doorman.

The punk disco offered live shows of the Damned, Ramones, and Dead Boys. Between sets our New Wave DJs such as the British Sean Cassette spun the B52s, Specials, and Blondie for dancing. Each night a new crew of Air France would drop their bags at the apartments and then stripped out of their uniforms and slip into leather and chains for a night at Hurrah.

As doorman I held the power of entry and waved in the Air France stewardesses for free. They were young, international, and beautiful. Pan-Am, BOAC, Lufthansa, Air Italia were also welcomed guests. My co-worker, Anthony, and I bedded many of these travelers and these glamorous Valkyries transported us to Valhalla without ever asking for a home phone number.

Anthony and I reveled his these anonymous encounters and we gained a well-deserved reputation for free love in the stairways and bathrooms of Hurrah. Jhoury the gay bartender would announce the arrival of these high-flying angels in a shrill voice.

"Now landing at Hurrah Air France Flight # 201 from Paris."

It was good fun until a goddess fully aware of her deification sauntered up to the entrance in a sleek black leather body suit straight out of the flight school of Pussy Galore, 007's love interest from GOLDFINGER. She was arm and arm with a handsome air steward wearing matching black leather. I didn't even really see him.

Her platinum blonde hair hung straight as a bullet's trajectory complimented her powdery white skin. Her crow black boa stiletto heels click on the sidewalk to accented her haughtiness.

She didn't even notice my opening the ropes or my waving her in for free or my trailing her scent of Chanel # 5 up the stairs to the dance floor.

My adoration was in competition with every straight man in Hurrah. She danced with anyone who asked her for dance. My eyes studied her sinuous body to the music of the Bush Tetras like a XXX film producer casting his leading lady.

Jhoury plied Claudine with drinks at my request. Her male steward friend was his type; handsome as a Greek statue and dumber than a bucket of mud.

I introduced myself.

"I know you. Dance with me." She spoke like Marlene Dietrich and I obeyed her command.

I danced with her during the headliner's show, my hands on her hipbones. The flesh over her skeleton was thinner than a crepe. Claudine shrugged off my grope.

'Pas ici."

"What about______"

"I have heard about you. You fuck like a dog. Toilet, roof, stairway. I am not a dog."

"Oh."

She swirled away with a shimmering curtain of hair pirouetting across her shoulders. Her refusal scoured the rust from my lazy pride. I had never said that she was a dog and I had never thought about having her doggie style until she mentioned 'dog'. She was right. I was a dog.

Jhoury laughed at my expense. He was expecting to tour Le Toilet bar in the West Village with Claudine's male roommate. He was into the rough stuff. I gave Jhoury the finger, as Claudine and her friend, Martin, left the club.

I had failed for once.

Fifteen minutes later Martin climbed the stairs to Hurrah. A boa stiletto in his hand. He pointed to a lighted terrace on the 24th floor.

"Claudine is expecting you. She is flying to Paris in five hours. Go now. Enjoy." He had a big smile for Jhoury.

I told Anthony that I would be back. It was 2:14am. I wasn't coming back here until the following night. Anthony glanced at my hand. The shoe said everything.

"Bon appetit."

The doorman was expecting me.

"24F."

The door was open. Claudine lay on a chocolate brown couch. Her vanilla skin looked like ice cream atop cake. A dog collar was clasped around her aristocratic neck in imitation of Marie Antoinette on the leash. Cocaine rails zigzagged across the glass table. Claudine had seer-soothed my sins. I was Johnny Thunder's cousin from the John Holmes' side of the family. A thin Cartier watch was on the table. Claudine glanced at the face.

"Three hours to take-off."

Claudine had a swimmers's skin and bones. After a few minutes her skin bore the tang of chlorine. Within twenty minutes she only smelled of my sweat. The view out the window was New York from a magic carpet, but the magic spell was draining out of the hourglass of opportunity. We had no time to waste figuring who was master or slave.

The reversals of domination contested our stamina. I was in good shape. She was in better condition. In the end I was Claudine's dog, while she was a lioness wanting more of heaven and hell. I was looking for eternity, but as the sun bleached the black rim of the night with a sliver of red, Claudine reached out for her watch.

It was 5:43am

Claudine snapped off the cuff. The fall of the chain was muffled by the carpet. Brown. It was a rented apartment. No one really lived there. New York was a stopover. Paris was home. She threw my clothes across the room.

"I must go."

"Five more minutes." I was begging for more. She shook her head with a smile of conquest on her lips.

"Au revoir, le chien."

Claudine pushed me out of the apartment with a kiss on each cheek and the scent of her skin gently weeping in my soul. The Beatles should have written a song about her. Claudine was gone and I was a naked man in the hallway of a high-rise. I had been here before.

Same apartment.

Same hallway. Only then Claudine had been Brigitte.

I didn't bathe her off my flesh for three days.

Several weeks later I met the Blonde Model from Buffalo. She became the only woman in my life. The stewardesses heard the news and fewer came to the club. Anthony was angered at my blowing a good thing.

"French stewardesses." He muttered, saying the two words like a prayer three times.

This prayer acted as a curse.

I've haven't had a stewardess since.

Neither in Space nor on Earth.

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