Sex. Lately it’s been about sex. I sat at a high tea on the weekend – my sister’s birthday – a sister I don’t see very often, who had invited the whole cavalcade of cousins within our family, all females, and provided us with a glistening view of the harbour, the beauty and activity of which clustered outside the huge glass plate windows for us to delectate. On the table before us was a herd of tiered platters dutifully piled high with delicate sandwiches and ornate pastries, which were a little misaligned given that we were a group of boisterous Greek women whose tastes ran more to platters of bejuiced meats and large trays of sweets rather than these delicate blossoms of food before us.
We ate a little awkwardly, and talked about our bodies and food, and husbands and sex. One of my cousins, a beautiful management of flesh and tight clothing, lipsticked and made up, but somehow not quite contained, talked about having ‘hall sex’. I looked confused. She rolled her eyes. You must know what that means she said. But she was glad that I didn’t so she could have the pleasure of explaining it to me and a whole group of us keen to hear.
Well, after so many years of marriage she said, ‘You each have a part of the house that is yours and do what you want during the day, but you share the hallways as you pass each other to get to other parts of the house. Hall sex. You pass each other, you give each other a look, and you say “fuck you” and he says “fuck you”. And you pass on by.’
We laughed, and then stared at the stupid little bits of food. I looked at these women, and remembered our families as we were all growing up attending one feast-day celebration after another, squeezing ourselves into each other’s tiny houses which were running over with kids and smells from the kitchen and music that hypnotised the hips and legs. Our mothers did not do high teas, their yearnings were full, their hungers were satisfied, their beds were a mess, they did not have hall sex.
Story by Maria Issaris
Photos; Unsplash & public domain