Bomb head part 3

     The night before any direct action, we did one of two things; either we planned and checked and double-checked until we fell into bed unable to move, or we planned and checked and double-checked until we brushed into each other accidentally, broke out laughing, and started to kiss.
    With the goodbye bomb sitting on the workbench, ready to go, I was too excited to go to sleep. Just looking over at it sent a tingle down my spine. "Heike, are you asleep?" I couldn't tell; her eyes were closed, but her hand was down by her crotch, and for all I knew she might just be lost in her own reverie, fueled by her fingers.
    There was no answer, and I took that to mean yes. Rather than wake her, I went into the bathroom, and looked at myself in the mirror.
    There were more lines than I remembered on my face, and I was thinner than I thought I should be; excitement, coffee, and not enough food, no doubt. Despite that, I thought I could see why Heike still wanted me. The girl she'd fallen for was still there, just tempered, experienced. lisa1.jpg
    Thinking back to the days we met, I sat down on the toilet, and lay my hand down between my own legs.

     We were both students, at Heidelberg. We would sit every day on a bench along the Neckar and read the papers, stuffing ourselves full of news from the real world, to go with our sandwiches.
    I don't know which came first, the realization that the world was fucked, or that we wanted to fuck each other; they were close together, that much I'm sure of. Once we'd figured both of those facts out, we'd wake up in the morning and keep up with the discussion of the night before, that had been interrupted by a kiss or a squeeze or a grope, ending in our collapse into sleep.
    She was the first lover I'd ever had; later, Klaus would worm his way into my pants once on the grounds that I should try it and see. And I did, and even gave him a second chance to prove whatever it was that was his point.

     Heike woke me up, just as I opened her eyes first to the world around us -- I was a year ahead in school. That gave me a wide-eyed year's head start to absorb what was going on -- what Rudy Dutschke was saying and why it was important, about Marcuse and Che and everyone else, why students had marched in Berlin in '68. So I taught her about politics.
    The other part, the sexual part, she started by teasing me one day at lunch. "What have you got against girls?" I nearly choked on my little sandwich, when she asked.
    "Nothing." The words came out hoarse as I reached for my water.
    "Because you don't want to dress like one, and most of the people I know who don't are either shacking up with Socialist Workers or lesbians." She said it in a breezy, offhand sort of way, as if she were discussing the latest film.
    A swallow of mineral water cleared my throat enough to let me call her on it. "How many people like that do you know?" I didn't think she really knew any. Both of us had student's disease, saying we knew more than we truly did.
    She blinked. "Well, there's Greta, she's with Gunther the SWP leader. There's one." Then she stopped, and fiddled with the paper she'd wrapped her lunch in.
    "So there you are."
    "What about the lesbians?" I felt like I'd caught her; we were still in the stage of our relationship where we felt out who was on top, at least when it came to the arguments we had; I had experience, she had (even then) what seemed like more youthful vigor.
    At that she raised her head, and blinded me with a smile brighter than the spotlights on the ruins of Heidelberg Castle during a festival. "I was hoping you could tell me about that."
    The really annoying thing was, right then, I thought I could. But I wasn't ready to admit it yet. Instead, I just shrugged, and took another bite. "Don't know any." She made a little moue and said, "Oh." Just that, nothing more, with disappointment clear in her voice.
    The moment she said it, I felt two things, both of them as strong as any feeling I think I'd ever had, including the righteous indignation of waking up to what a mess the world was. I wanted to take her in my arms and make sure that whatever had made her said "Oh'" would never happen again. And I wanted, desperately, the very thing I had just cut off with my words. It was time to think quickly.
    "Of course, I don't know how you could be sure you were a lesbian unless you'd tried it."
    At that, she regarded me again; perhaps she was trying to figure out if I was just engaging in a philosophical discussion, or if I was coming on to her. I knew it was the latter, and knew that my mouth was dry, my palms wet. I had to say something, but better I'd kept my mouth shut. "Or if you weren't, I mean."
    That did not help matters. Even years later Heike would be the better-spoken of us. It was my part to hide in the shadows and make things work. Now her puzzled look just grew deeper.
    Ignoring the fact that I was getting mayonnaise on my sweater, ignoring the fact that there were people walking by along the shore, I leaned forward and kissed her. I tried for a kiss from the movies. It didn't happen -- when our lips first touched her mouth was closed, mine open, and I was afraid I'd swallow her lips. But she learned more quickly than I did, and kissed me back.
    When we stopped, she looked down. "You've squashed your sandwich."
    "Fuck that," I said. "I don't care."
    "No." she replied. "Fuck me."

     Neither of us were really sure how to do it, when we got back to my room. For both of us lesbians were mysterious people. We'd hear about them at radical meetings, but we never saw any. They were a subject for nervous jokes, everyone laughing at them for their own embarrassed reasons.
    Kissing, however, seemed a good place to start. It had worked down by the riverside, and so we went at it again, as soon as we were away from prying eyes.
    We spent a long time just kissing, hands at our sides, too nervous to reach out and touch each other. Whenever we'd try, the odd rustling of fabric would give us away, or constrain us, and we'd stop, embarrassed. In the end, I broke off from a kiss, and asked, "Why don't we get undressed?"
    Later, Heike would tease me that my aptitude for direct action appeared there for the first time; I'd dropped a bomb into the middle of things once more. I didn't want to take it slow, to work things out through the muddle of processing and discussion. She laughed, a high nervous laugh, and waited to see if I'd put action to words.
    lisa3.jpg So I did, pulling off my shirt, leaving me naked down to the waist. I didn't stop to see if she was doing the same; by then I was too embarrassed to look. If I'd stopped, I would never have managed to take my pants off. I wasn't romantic, that much I knew. Back then, though, romance wasn't really in fashion, anyway; romance was oppressive, and manipulative, and hegemonic. Standing naked in front of someone you were praying was your girlfriend, looking down at yourself and wishing you'd taken a shower this morning, wishing you'd trimmed your toenails, and hoping she'd like your breasts, was not hegemonic.
    While I'd been stripping off my clothes, Heike had undone her blouse, leaving it on her shoulders but open, and started to unfasten her skirt. She'd stopped, midway, to watch me, to look at me. With one hand she reached out and brushed her fingertips across my stomach. I shivered at her touch; it took all my concentration not to pull myself away from it. When I didn't, though, it made her bolder; her other hand came up, and she let her fingers explore my skin. For as long as I could, I let her. She touched the undersides of my breasts, lingering there before daring to stroke a nipple. One hand ran along my hip, the touch getting lighter as she came closer to my crotch.
    I could only stand there for so long before the teasing became too much, and I bent back over to kiss her, letting her hands go where they may. I think she was more startled than I was at the sudden press of my breast against her palm, but she didn't let it get in the way of kissing me back.
    I kept moving, pushing her back onto the bed, half-dressed as she was; my knee came down between her legs, and without any real warning, my cunt pushed against her thigh. I know that I wasn't ready for it, and started to pull away. Only the fact that her leg jerked up from the surprise kept us together, and by the time I came back down, it was right where I wanted to be.
    By the end of that afternoon, the room was a mess, we both stank to high heaven, and if there was an inch of her I hadn't touched, it was not because I hadn't tried. Any time I found myself wondering if I should do something, I did it. It had worked so far, hadn't it?
    You need that kind of certainty with what we do. Too much arguing leads to hesitation, and hesitation to catastrophe.

     It was just that sort of hesitation, the intrusion of thoughts about the work, that made me grind to a halt. I'd been playing with myself without even really thinking about it, just lost in the memory. But starting to think about division, about hesitation, brought Klaus back to my mind. Even now, with my clit caught between two of my fingers, I didn't think about the times I'd tried it with him. It wasn't an unpleasant memory so much as it was a non-event, like going to a movie everyone talked about and you thought was just mediocre.
    Instead, as I started, now, consciously to stroke myself, my thoughts danced around him, like a cat might circle a wounded animal it thought might still be dangerous.

     The three of us had quit the Socialist Patient's Kollective in a moment of outrage, theirs as well as ours. We'd hooked up with them after college, when Heike had dropped out of graduate school and pulled Klaus with her. I'd never quite understood exactly how they'd met; perhaps it was over a lunch just as she and I had, but within a few days he was crashing with us, and keeping up with the arguments and the discussions. When he and Heike first fucked, I don't know; one night Heike said she was going to sleep with him, and it didn't seem like a big deal.
    It might seem hard to believe, but it was true. Monogamy was one more barrier to punch through, one more restriction of the System. That we hadn't done anything about it before was more a matter of our isolation than any commitment on our part. No-one had come as close to us before as he did, despite his bourgeois background. He had the fervor of the converted.
    But the SPK...Never get a bunch of ex-mental patients to run your revolution. They wasted so much time on the trivial things, like who was fucking whom in the group. Our view was always that you did it when it would make you happier, and work better, and not when it wouldn't. Not some fascistic soccer-team idea of going without sex for a week before an action.
    But it bothered some of them, that all three of us had been screwing around, even if we weren't screwing up. So we were all sitting there, a good dozen of us (if the police had any idea what chances they'd missed to arrest us all, they'd shit themselves), and the subject was whether or not we were a problem.
    One of them that I know Klaus hadn't fucked finally spat it out. "You're not interested in the revolution once it gets past free love, are you?"
    Now, Klaus may have been a right bastard, but he wasn't a sexual predator. So while he started to turn bright red and sputter, I cut in. "No, that's me you're talking about. Wanna do it? Right here, right now?"
    They weren't going to turn us in -- we knew too many of them, and too much about them for that -- but they did kick us out. I don't know whether that girl was more steamed at what I'd said, orthe fact that I, not Klaus, had done the inviting.

     After that, it was the three of us alone against the System. We didn't communicate much with the other groups, save to warn them if things were going to get hot in an area, or to find out if reports that a friend of ours had been arrested were true.
    Between waiting for the heat to come off after we'd done something, and planning the next action, we had a lot of time on our hands, time where we couldn't do much beyond figure out where we were going to get food, and talk, and fuck. We did plenty of all three, over the years.
    Klaus always tried harder than either of us to be pure, whether in his theory, his dogma, or his praxis. Once, he declared he was going celibate, to devote more energy to the cause. That lasted longer than most of his resolutions -- about two weeks. For the first week, it was simply "OK, whatever you think you should do." And if we wanted to have fun, we always had each other.
    At the end of the week, I asked Heike, while we were lying in bed, "Has Klaus said anything to you recently that didn't have to do with sex?"
    "Nope, not a single thing."
    So we started to make a show of it, every night. We'd moan, sigh, call out each other's names or what we wanted done to us. "That's right; right there, oh, God," (Lust does not care about politics, at least not when you're that close to coming) "fill my cunt, yes!" We put his strength to the test.
    After one more week, he was completely undone. It was a foolish idea, he swore up and down. It was blocking him, like his psyche was some giant waterworks threatening to burst. He'd demonstrated his devotion to the cause, and should be rewarded for it. Up until the last excuse, I was almost willing to buy it. After that one, though, he was sleeping alone for another week.
    That was the sort of game we'd played amongst ourselves.
    There was never enough privacy to make jealousy really feasible. We rarely spent money on more than one room, because we needed the money for other things, and getting it was a risky endeavor. We chose getting used to each other's bodies and dealing with each other's actions over robbing banks or businesses twice as often. That was not a hard choice to make for me. I could never bear to imagine Heike lying on the sidewalk bleeding to death after a robbery that we had only pulled to get some privacy. lisa2.jpg

     Andrea Dworkin said intercourse was violence, was rape, was criminal. We discussed that idea over late-night cigarette sessions. Klaus always objected. Once he'd gone to sleep, or stomped off in a huff, though, we worked it over again, sometimes just talking, sometimes planning it as if we were planning a bombing. What security was there around our sexes, how was it stripped away to lie exposed, and what happened? Was intercourse an assassination, a kidnapping, a mugging? What sort of crime? Was it the sort of crime that benefitted only the State, or could it be a revolutionary crime as well, like blowing the chairman of Deutsche Bank to the skies, or robbing a bank?
    And just when the whole subject almost turned to the dust of discourse without praxis, I'd see the sheen of moisture on the lips of her cunt, or she'd ask, "If intercourse is violence against women, if I fuck Chancellor Schmidt with a tennis racket, is it violence against me, or is he a woman?" And we'd laugh, or fuck, and go on living, calling out the all-clear if Klaus had left the room. But only when we were done with each other.

     Over the last few weeks before he went away, though, it had been less tense between us. Now, looking back at it, I wondered if I shouldn't have seen it coming. But the signs weren't warning signs at all, not that I could ever have expected.
    They still fucked; but it was less than it had been. Heike wasn't one to push herself on anyone, and the less Klaus asked, the less she went to him. Which didn't bother me at all. Waking up to the sounds of them making love was, I'm sure, no less pleasant for me than it was for him to do the same thing. We just did our best to sleep through it, or to take care of ourselves discreetly.
    In fact, over the last week he'd been there, he'd never been with her when I was around, even if I was asleep. I'll never know whether it was out of some sense of shame that he was going, some last-ditch try to woo Heike away from me and from the cause, or what. If it was, it didn't work, and that was all that mattered.

     By now, I had started to drift off towards sleep more than once in my reverie, and I was beginning to feel just a little sore down between my fingers. There wasn't any point in trying further. My fuse was clearly not going to burn down tonight.
   I got up and washed my hands, not looking at myself in the mirror again. After checking the alarm clock to be sure the time was right, I climbed into bed next to Heike, and fell asleep. Tomorrow was going to be a big day.

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Part 3

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