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EEL PIE DHARMA - a memoir / haibun -  © 1990 Chris Faiers



Chapter 12 - The Schoolgirls

The derelict Eel Pie ballroom was opened for business once again.  It looked like a high school gym done over by hippies.  There were garish psychedelic paintings all over the flaking walls.  The most striking was the looming head of a red-eyed hippie king, with his Aubrey Beardsley tresses winding about the walls.  He made Charles Manson look almost benevolent by comparison, and the longer I lived in the hotel, the more I felt I looked like him.  My quick-growing black hair was getting longer and freakier and my scraggly beard was beginning to fill in.

Friday and Saturday night were band nights.  A young, hip and bi-sexual entrepreneur was booking rock bands from all over Great Britain  Some of the groups went on to fame as name acts, such as Atomic Rooster.  The Edgar Broughton Band, the band which had preceded my visit to the 144 Piccadilly squat, also paid a visit.  Legend had it that the Eel Pie ballroom was one of The Rolling Stones' early venues, and the ballroom was continuing to play an important role in the developing careers of many breaking bands.

These wild weekend affairs, the great mouldy room with the paint splattered walls and the bottles of beer being sold from battered fridges, attracted all manner of hippies and trendies and students and - oh joy was me - schoolgirls!

While the band thrashed away, a light show floated over the crazily dancing crowd and the band from a projection booth high at the other end of the hall.  Many of the people were high on hash and speakeasy beer, and more than a few on acid and speed and Mandrax, the "mandies make you randy" quaalude of the London drug scene.  To this inspired debauchery ventured the braver of the Richmond and Twickenham schoolgirls.  They would come in packs, and many of them were gorgeous young English roses of fifteen or sixteen.

I already knew a few students from L'Auberge, and apparently many of the girls already knew of me.  I was becoming "Canadian Chris", an Eel Pie denizen with black Irish good looks and a romantic past as a 'Miami Beach hippie' and a cohort of swash-buckling Canadian Peter.  For the first time in my life I was in demand by women, beautiful young women who were in the process of their own sexual revolutions!.

I flopped with the first one I lured back to my room.  She was one of the most gorgeous young women I had ever seen; with her blonde hair and pouting lips she looked like a young Brigitte Bardot.  She was with a crowd of her girlfriends, and I quickly singled her out.  She was as pleased to be selected by the notorious Canadian Chris as I was to win the attention of the most attractive girl in the hall.  When I got her back to my cubbyhole, we wasted no time in stripping.  She had the most perfect body I had ever seen - she had that soft always-tanned skin some blonde women have, and the firmest, most perfectly cupped breasts with pouty aureoles.  We rubbed our bodies in the dark, but I just couldn't get hard enough, or brave enough to enter this fantasy woman.  I even dated her a few times after this, but her parents quickly whisked her away on a vacation to Scotland.

The next schoolgirl was Lesley.  She wasn't nearly as gorgeous as the first one, but she was slim and brown haired and intelligent.  She was also a virgin, and dying to lose her virginity.  Europeans have probably always had a more tolerant attitude towards sex, and this nubile teenager was anxious to start getting her share.  For some reason she had a boyfriend who was reluctant to take her virginity, and so she had come to Eel Pie to find a man of the world such as me to solve her problem.

To woo her I recited as much of The Eve of St. Agnes as I could remember, and then I hammed up the rest of a mediaeval seduction scene, where I was a shepherd and she was the desirable young princess or some such.  It was a great fantasy, and I had no problem entering her stretched young body as a climax to our play.

The next day she returned to the commune with some cans of food for me, to look after her hippie/gypsy/poet lover.

Friday night
     schoolgirls follow music
          over Eel Pie bridge




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