What follows is chapter one of my book Helen’s 100 – How I Took My Waxer’s Advice And Cured Heartbreak By Going On 100 Dates In Less Than A Year released today. If you like it, you could consider buying the book. Or not. It might just trigger terrible memories of your own internet dates, Either way, I believe this is what they call an “extract”:
‘Dolphin,’ said Eleni, my waxer of some years.
In the language of Eleni’s salon, ‘to dolphin’ is to turn left on a table with the rear thrust out while lying naked from the bottom down. It’s a short and useful command that, once learned, urges the lady to an ideal position for a brief ‘bikini’ wax. It also has the psychological effect of sanitising the client’s vagina and her cruder neighbour, the anus. To believe for a moment that one’s most abject parts resemble Flipper’s mouth is quite relaxing.
But this was not a likeness noted by Eleni, whose long professional scrutiny of female anuses through a magnifying lamp certainly qualified her to make such comparisons. Apparently, we ladies do not look like dolphins Down There; probably, if we’re using marine life as a guide, more like a mollusc. However, on the wall Eleni’s anal-waxees were required to face, there happened to be a promotional poster for a moisturising gel that depicted a well-hydrated dolphin. Hence Eleni had developed the ‘Dolphin!’ command.
I laughed, as I always do, and I seized, as I frequently do, the fleshiest part of one buttock and moved it up and down, emitting ‘eEeEeEeEeEeEeEeE eEeEeEeEeEeEeEeE,’from my mouth.
Eleni said she was relieved that I was making my customarily crap jokes, and, again, how very sorry she was that she had waxed my ex’s anus that one quite recent time.
‘I should have charged her double. I saw all the hair she had down there and asked “Are you Greek like me?” I don’t think it was very nice of her to wait so long for me to wax it. I used more than half a pot.’
Not that I had minded when the ex’s bush had recalled a goliath tarantula. Not that I had minded its fashionable deforestation. It was quite a nice vagina either way. But, right now, I did mind thinking about my ex’s sexual parts in any way at all, and tailored to my grief as were Eleni’s observations—among them, ‘I used enough wax on that thing to cover a truck full of Babybel cheeses’—I asked her to desist.
I told Eleni that I couldn’t bear to talk about the tarantula again, and asked if we could please change the topic from my tragic break-up.
I then immediately resumed the topic of my tragic break-up—it hurts so much, my longest intimacy has ended, my ex had turned to hairless sex with other women like a duck to orange sauce, etc.—and continued right until the moment hot wax made its way toward my rectum.
‘Was that warmer than usual?’ I asked Eleni.
‘No,’ she lied, and she tore me a new arsehole, to bear in this parched Melbourne summer.
Eleni is a very sweet person who generally brings the same care to conversation she does to the removal of hair from my anal cleft.
But that day she’d likely had her fill of my outpourings, which had already drenched a manicure, an eyebrow tint and a mini facial—a service she had offered, as she does to all newly dumped clients with puffy eyes, on-the-house.
‘I know you are sad, Helen. And I am happy to listen to you talk about some of it. But words can be dangerous. It does you no good to use them all the time.’
And, I imagine that it did Eleni no good to tend to my vagina while I banged on about how it had been so newly vacated, so I tried to address a topic that wasn’t my dolphin, or the ex’s dolphin, but failed. For a moment, I forewent the futile ecstasy of most words by uttering that actually useful one, ‘sorry’. And then I would return to useless words again.
This is an extract from The Helen 100 by Helen Razer, published by Allen & Unwin, RRP $29.99, available today.