A few years ago I met this women while travelling to Singapore. We had been on the plane from L.A. for more than 3 hours when we began to make small talks. I found out that she was from Singapore and was going back home. She was an international writer specialising in sexuality and had been in L.A. to meet with some editors. She was tired and was anxious to get back home. Her name was May-Lin. She was 35 years old and looked like a beautiful flower.
I also found out that she was a window with two young children. Bruce 12 and Sandy 14. I found this woman to be fascinating. Here was this lady travelling the world, doing business in a man's world and doing extremely well.
She wanted to know more about me and I told her about my life. My name is Charles everybody called me Chuck, divorced 37 y/o with two kids about the same age as hers and travelling the world in the Metal Industry.
Most of my life had been spent in hotel rooms all over the world and this was also the reason why I ended up with a bad divorce on my hands. The wife had taken the kids with her and we fought in court for a very big alimony payment. She won! And I continued my life as before. I didn't see my kids as much as I wanted too but such was my life and if I wanted to keep paying those big checks I had to continue. Money was very good!
Both of us were sitting in the first class cabin. We were the only people there. I was not surprised considering the price of such a ticket... We were both travelling in style. The flight was more than 20 hours. With quick stop in Japan, Narita airport (2 hours).
May-Lin and I had a lot of time to talk and learn about each other. This is what we did and the more we talked the more we felt comfortable with each other.
"Do you know what I don't like about your country?" She asked.
"Must be our beer... Right?" I answered back smiling. "No not that! I like your beer. No it's your morality... I find the North American very self centred about sexuality. It's funny because in your country you will have a porno shop on one side of the street and a Church on the other side of the street preaching about the evil that man do. This would never happen in my country!"
"I'm afraid that you're right there! We are somewhat twisted... We like to talk a big game but we don't do much. That must be why we are so uptight about things." She knew I was playing with her. She found it funny and we laugh about it all. Her point was still on the nose however. I knew that.
"In my country we don't advertise it. Of course you can always find what you want if you really want it, mind you. But what I mean is that we preach at home and nowhere else. Sexuality and nudity are the basics of our species. Without that we would not be here we would still be fishes in the sea. Our children are taught to respect their body and respect each other." I agreed with her and it certainly had not been like that in my own life. Sexuality for me was private and nudity was also very private.
"How was it with your wife Chuck? Did you talk with your children when the time came?" She asked me. I was surprised by her question. I didn't know what to answer.
"I'm afraid May-Lin that your are talking to a typical North American men... In my house my wife did all these things. I have two daughters and she did all the talking about women things... You know!" I felt my face becoming warm all of a sudden. I knew that it must have been red. I had never talked about these things with anybody let alone a stranger on a plane... "How do you do it in your country?" I asked trying to change the direction of the conversation.
She went down to her big purse and got a binder out. "This is the reason for my trip to L.A.... A few years ago I wrote a theses on family sexuality. When my teachers read it they liked it so much that they got me to publish it in my country. I did that and it became a best seller. You can't imagine how happy I was! With the money I made I was able to provide for my family, which is very hard to do in my country if you're a women... Anyway! A few months ago my publisher received a call from another publisher in L.A. and they invited me to visit with them. They wanted to publish my book in English in your country. I was crazy with joy! This was the big break I was waiting for..." I saw in her face that this trip had not turned the way she had expected...
"And what happened?" I asked.
" I was told that they would publish it if I agreed to change a few things in the book. You see in my book I talk about healthy sexual relationship and they did not like that..."
"I don't understand... If this book talks about healthy sex, what's wrong with that?" I asked confused.
"Well let me explain... First are you open minded about sex? This I must know!" She asked me
"Of course I am... why do you ask?" This took me by surprised. Was there something wrong about her book?
"When I lost my husband a few years ago. I realised that I would have to bring my children into this world alone and I wanted to give them as many tools as possible. I went back to school and got my degree in sociology, specialising in human sexuality. Not bad for a widow, right?" She asked not letting any time to answer. " My husband and I had an understanding. What happen outside the walls of our house was not of our business and we concentrated on our children and our married life. We were and still are what you say in your country... nudist. This is where I realised that we had a big problem in our society that was destroying the core of our lives." She stops to look for a page in the binder. "Here it is!" (The difference between right and wrong) was the title of the page she showed me.
"I remember that course in school!" I said to her joking.
"This might not be what you were taught at school Chuck. Read the first two paragraph and you will understand what I mean." She handed me the binder.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RIGHT AND WRONG
MOST OF OUR BELIEFS TODAY, ARE TEACHING US THAT SEX SHOULD BE SEEN AS SOMETHING WRONG AND EVIL. CHILDREN ARE BROUGHT UP TO BE SCARED OF THEIR OWN SEXUALITY WHILE AT THE SAME TIME WE ARE OPENING A DOOR FOR THEM TO WALK IN. UNPREPARED AND INNOCENT THEY WALK INTO A WORLD OF DESTRUCTION WITHOUT FEELINGS. LIKE MANY OF US ADULTS THEY END UP SEEING THEIR OWN SEXUALITY LIKE ANIMALS DO. SOMETHING THAT WILL BRING THEM SATISFACTION FOR A FEW HOURS WITHOUT ANY FEELING ATTACHED TO IT.
IT IS IMPORTANT TO SHOW THEM THAT SEXUALITY IS PART OF EVERYBODY'S LIFE AND WE HAVE TO SHOW THEM THE RIGHT WAY. LET US NOT BE HYPOCRITE IN THE FACE OF MASTURBATION AND SEXUAL DESIRES! LET US TEACH OUR CHILDREN LIKE A TEACHER WOULD TEACH ENGLISH 101. YES! WE ARE THE FIRST TEACHERS THEY HAVE AND WE ARE ALSO THE BEST THEY HAVE. LET US BRING OUR EXPERIENCE TO THEM SO THEY CAN LEARN SOMETHING WONDERFUL. SOMETHING THAT WILL NEVER STOP TO BE. THIS IS THE WAY OUR GOD MADE US...
I had to agree. I didn't see this at school. Nobody would talk like that back home. They would be jailed for life. I looked at her when finished with a puzzled look on my face. "I knew that you would be surprised to read words like that. You are not accustomed to this right?" She asked me.
"May-Lin I must say that this is not the way we present sexuality in my country. I am not saying that we are right and you are wrong. But you have to understand that from what I can read here, you are talking about incest. This is wrong! In America it is anyway!" I answered back.
"Why do you think they wanted me to change a few things in the book? I realised today that your world is not ready for what I have to say!" She said back at me sitting down on her seat.
I was stunt! This lady was telling me, at 35000 feet in the air that incest was acceptable and a force of nature. I just started at her for a few moments. She was angry at my world. The ones that had refused to publish her book as is.
"May-Lin hold on!" I said to her sensing that this trip would be extremely long with a total stranger sitting beside me and in a sour mood.
She looked at me. "You have to agree that your teaching are somewhat hard to grasp. The religious guru of this world has raised us, the society I mean. They have been telling us that this act that you are referring to is sacrilege in all of its parts." I stopped for a second to look at her face and see her reaction. "You're book might be accepted in your country but you cannot expect for us to understand it overnight."
May-Lin was listening to me and she knew that this conversation was not going to be easy at all. Even with me! " Before we go any further into this thing!" I said to her "I need to know one thing... Do you... Are you like that with... your children?" That's it! I had asked her the question. I was scared of the answer. Was she really like that with her family?
"Chuck! This might be hard for you to believe but the answer is yes! My children and I are very open about our sexuality. I know you might not agree but this is the way it is with us. You would be surprised to find out how many families are like mine all over the world..." She was the one stopping now to look at my reaction. I couldn't talk. My bottom lip was on the floor... But I have to say that I was curious. In a funny way I wanted to know more about this way of living.
"Listen May-Lin you got me curious about all this. I hope you won't mind but tell me more about the way you live with your family. You don't have to be too personal about things if you don't want to but I would like to know more...!" She got her smile back.
The flight attendant came to see us at the same time. She asked us if we needed anything and asked our permission to go and help the others in the next section. They needed help and since there was only two of us...
I looked at my neighbour and we both agreed. After all I felt a lot better knowing that there was nobody around to listen to what she was about to tell me. We ordered a drink, which she served us right away and she left closing the curtain behind her.
"All right!" Said May-Lin. "We can talk now. Before I tell you anything about my life I need your word that you will accept it and not make any judgement call on my story. You asked me to tell you about us and I will but I need to feel good about what I do, understand?"
"Your secret is safe with me and who knows? I might have a few for you before the flight is over!" I answered back. Not knowing what I would tell her about myself that would be a secret. This is where I realised that my life was very boring looking from the outside. However this is another story.
May-Lin's attitude had changed all of a sudden. She was more cheerful and had a big smile on her face. I must say that I was happy about that change. It also exited me a lot to see her that way.
I crossed my legs, folded my arms and moved sideways facing her waiting for her to start. Really not knowing what to expect and expecting the most...
She proceeded to tell me her story:
"Chuck, my children and I have a great life you know. We have no secrets with each other. When I sold the rights to my book I was able to purchase a small house in the north of the island. We are extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to purchase this house which by the way is far from everything. Our closest neighbour is 2 miles away from us. This gives us the opportunity to be who we are without being disturbed.
This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Mr Double's Palisade
A MrDouble Production:
Changes last made on: Tuesday, December 15, 1998