Kali says nothing. She only murmurs softly – sounds that her choker does not translate into English. Sounds that are universal to lovers across all galaxies. No translation is needed.

She lies spread like a golden keyboard across my bed. My talented fingers draw golden glissandos from her skin. And this – this will be the pinnacle of my virtuosity. The climax of my career as a performer of note. As we become one. Building up from softest pianissimo, crotchet after steady crotchet.

Here on my amber sheets, time has no power or meaning. We are a duet in perfect harmony, Kali and I, matching chord for chord.

I have tapped into the deepest, most complex rhythms of my African ancestry. And she joins me in a slow crescendo that works its way through andante and into allegro. Across inter-galactic bar-lines.

“I’m counting on you, my boy.” So said my Prof of the wild-bush eyebrows. “It is said that music soothes the savage breast. Perhaps our Earth music has somehow gone awry. I’m counting on you to find the Answer. To uphold the reputation of this faculty.”

Kali’s eyes are closed for the moment. A pity. A light sheen glows on her golden forehead. And time still has no meaning. Though it must be a good twenty minutes now. Maybe closer to half an hour.

I am still holding out manfully, tapping into my deepest resources of self-control. Mama Dlamini was a fine teacher.

But the end is in sight now. Surely?

I hope.

Sixty per cent!? What does my sister Thandeka know, stuck there with her sandy pet-free Sowetan backyard? While I have lain beneath the palm trees of the West Indies, watching a dusky maiden writhe in abandoned pleasure past bearing, a pillow of golden beach-sand beneath her arching head.

“‘Writhing in abandoned pleasure’! Oh Josh.” My sister mocks me even as she strokes the sea shells I have brought her. Her lover of three years has left her for an eighteen-year-old.


Tell us what you think: Is Thandeka right that women often fake orgasms? What about women like the ‘personal assistant’ who claimed to have an orgasm with Josh after three minutes? Was it just part of her job?