Archives for posts with tag: Shannon Long

Haresh Shah

Let A Pencil Be The Judge

penciltest

‘How can you tell if someone has firm breasts?’ Asks Marie.

Just a couple of hours earlier we sat at the riverside Marina City Restaurant in the Marina Towers. During the course of the evening, I happen to mention to Marie how bummed I was that at the last minute my friend Jena  had backed out on me. At the time I was still working for Time & Life and getting into some serious photography, to an extent that I had not only bought myself the Pentax Spotmatic, and several lenses, flesh unit, filters, tripod and all, but had also set up the dark room of my own in the storage closet of my South Shore Drive apartment. I was better at doing close ups and headshots. I had natural aptitude for it. But now I had gotten into my head like most every artist and photographers that one of the things I would also like to do was to do some female nudes. Jena and I had been good friends  and she offered to pose for me, but had gotten cold feet at the last minute.  Even I didn’t realize how sad I must have looked as I was relating this to Marie – whom I had just started dating.

‘That wasn’t nice of her!’ says Marie in a tone of a little mother comforting her child. And we resume our dinner.

‘I’ll pose for you!’ I hear her say while we are waiting for our coffee and the deserts. I feel her gentle gaze fixed on me as she offers to be my model.

We finish our dinner and rush to my apartment. I am nervous as can be and Marie is too. Doing the nudes is the first for me – it is for both of us and we are not working on being just friends. We have already shot a film or two and now taking a short break. We are sitting on the floor on the generously padded wall-to-wall rug, relaxed enough for Marie to feel comfortable sitting in front of me in the nude.

Marie is not the most beautiful girl on the earth. But not bad looking either. Just  your regular girl next door. Going for her is her youth, she is only twenty three. Not that I am much older either. And she is built like a brick shit house.

‘How?’ I ask.

‘Do you have a pencil?’

‘Sure.’ And I get up and fetch one from the desk in my bedroom. She gets up and stands in the middle of the room, stretches her frame vertically and brings her feet together, as if at attention. Takes the pencil from my hand and levels it against the lower curve of one of her breasts and lets her hand go. The pencil comes tumbling down and lands at her feet. I pick it up and am now standing face-to-face with her.

‘You see?’ She asks. But I’m afraid, I don’t.

‘Let me show you again.’ And she snatches the pencil from my hand and levels it under the other breast and lets go of it. Again it comes tumbling down.

I still don’t get it.

‘You see, my breasts are as firm as can be. The reason the pencil falls down. But if there were even a tiny bit of sagging, they would hold the pencil right where I placed it.’

And then I see her cupping her breasts and slightly cradle them, as if saying good girls! I suddenly feel jealous of her hands.

Now I see. ‘Wow!’ I’m in awe of her proven firm breasts.

Fast forward sixteen years. It’s the spring of 1986. We are in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, shooting a multi-girl pictorial containing of the girls from the countries participating in Mundial ‘86 – the Soccer World Cup – hosted by Mexico that year. We have a private bungalow within the complex of Hotel Krystal Resort.  Secluded and complete with its own outdoor swimming pool. While the crew is busy setting up details of the group shot, the girls splashing in choreographed harmony, the girls are clustered around the shaded patio that connects the house with the pool. Seems like there is some commotion going-on on the patio. The girls are in the different stages of undress, just standing around, sipping on their drinks, talking and surrounding Brenda.

‘Really? They’re beautiful. They sure look real to me!’ I hear one of them say while her gaze fixed on Brenda’s breasts.  As I walk towards the girls to find out what the commotion is all about, they part to let me in.

‘Did you know that she have had a boob job?’

‘Who?’

‘Brenda here.’

‘Is it true?’ I asks Brenda.

‘Yup!’

‘When did you have it done?’

‘Oh, not long ago.’

I look at the proud and pleased expressions on her face and then at her firm-as-boulders pair of breasts. Not long before I had looked at the set of her test shots. And her breasts looked just fine, but when I mention them, she tells me how she had decided to have them enhanced after having looked at those photos.

‘I just wanted to have them bigger and firmer.’ She tells us.

‘They sure look great, wow! I thought the surgery would leave visible cut marks under them?’

‘Not really. Yes, they do, but barely.’ And she lifts both of her breasts with her hands and all I could see underneath them were teeny-tiny incisions.

‘That’s incredible. Do they still feel the same? I mean, to touch?’

‘Of course they do. I sure don’t feel any difference. Neither does my boyfriend. You want to touch them?’

‘No,, its alright!’

‘I don’t mind, really.’ She says and moves closer, as if presenting me two giant scoops of vanilla ice cream topped with cherries. Sure enough, as far as I can tell, they are firm and they feel as natural as any other set I have ever touched.

‘See?’ And I see a smile of satisfaction on her face.

‘That’s great. Now it’s  time to get back to work.’ As I walk back, I couldn’t help but wonder whether they would pass Marie’s pencil test?

A year and a half later. We are doing another multi-girl pictorial. This time in Hong Kong. Its rather late in the night. Must be past eleven. I no longer remember what it was that I needed to communicate to the girls urgently, I knock on Lynne (Austin) (Playmate July 1986) and Shannon’s (Long) (Playmate Australia – September 1985 and US October 1988) door. Unlike in Mexico where each girl had a room of her own, in Hong Kong we have them sharing rooms. Lynne opens the door. They are wide awake and having a glass of wine. Probably one before calling it a day. They are already in their pajamas. Nothing out of ordinary, except that they seem to be holding back something – a smile. A big laugh even.

‘Uhm! What’s going on?’

‘Oh nothing. Just girl talk!’ Shannon chirps coyly and then gives a mischievous sideway look to Lynne.

‘Come on, you can tell me!’ I prod.

‘Should I tell him?’ Asks Lynne.

‘If you want to!’

‘Alright. Why not? Haresh is one of us. Well, Shannon and I were trying to figure out which one of us got the bigger ones? I was convinced that I did.’ That made sense. Lynne is taller and looks proportionally bigger at 5.6 ½” (1.68m) compared to compact Shannon at 5.3” (1.60m).    

‘Don’t tell me  you guys were going to measure them before I knocked on the door!’

‘We were going to, but then Shannon points me to that…’ I follow Lynne’s eyes  moving in the general direction of Shannon’s bed. Pitched on the top of it is what I can only describe as giant twin tents of a bra.

‘She does!!!’ Concedes Lynne.

And I thought it was just us deprived and depraved male of the species that obsessed over the female mammary glands.

Haresh Shah 2013

Illustration: Celia Rose Marks

SISTER SITE

http://www.downdivision.com

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 Next Friday, May 31, 2012

DEVIL IN THE PARADISE

Sometimes that’s what you have to be perceived as to forge a close bond. Another story of a unique friendship.

Haresh Shah

Yes, It Happens

bubbleblowing2

Don’t lie. I know you’ve been dying to ask me – no matter in what form and the words – but have been afraid to or are just being too smug or polite to ask. And I have been knowingly ignoring or just stringing you along, instead of just come out and get it over with. But the time has come for me to face up and come clear. The answer is: YES, in bold CAPITAL letters.

It is the New Year’s day in the year 2000. The first day of the new millennium. Jan (Heemskerk) and I are taking a walk in the woods of the Dutch countryside. Not too far from his home in Alkmaar. It’s wet and it’s muddy and it’s bone chilling cold. But we are bundled up and the crisp cold fresh air does us good. I don’t remember what lead him to ask, but out of a clear blue sky, I hear his words amble in the air.

‘Shah, have you ever regretted having slept with someone? ’Almost in the exact words that I remember an author asking another in an article in The New Yorker – I think the question was directed at John Updike, but I am not sure.

‘Nope! But I certainly have regretted not having done so when I could have.’ I repeat pretty much what Updike or whoever it was had answered. My response puts us in reflective mode. We continue walking in silence. I don’t remember much being said about it. We probably drifted away talking about something else – or more likely picked up the thread of whatever conversation we were having.

Had we stayed on the subject, it probably would have become the hour of truth as is known to happen on any given New Year’s day. What could have been more appropriate than the first day of the new millennium? Had we gone on, this is what I would have liked to share with him.

‘Do  you remember the Dutch starlet you sent to Chicago to be photographed? What was her name? Yeah, her, right. Ans. I think it was the second or the third day of the shoot. We had built this elaborate set for her. Sort of Spanish Colonial arch in the background, and a huge king size bed perched atop the specially built stage. There are potted flowers, pastel pink and the bed is covered with usual props to selectively and enticingly hide and reveal the languishing shapely female form. During a short break, everyone was dispersed off the set. No one had gone far. Pat (Tomlinson), the stylist was in the props room, futzing around. Pompeo (Posar) was probably talking to his wife at home. Do you believe he calls his wife at least a dozen times every day just to tell her I love you? Steve (Conley), the assistant was somewhere else. And then I walk in on the set. Ans has climbed down the bed and sitting at the edge of the stage, relaxing with her legs dangling. Other than her turquoise choker and the matching earrings and the bracelets and a long shawl loosely hanging from her arm, she has not bothered to cover herself.’

‘So how is it going?’ I approach her.

‘Oh, good! They are taking a little break!’ And we indulge in small talk. I am standing in front of her, her face and my waist parallel to each other. And suddenly, like the head of a cobra springing  up from the snake charmer’s basket, she drops the shawl and her hand is cupping my crotch and affectionately squeezing my family jewels. I back up. She looks up at me with a wicked smile. Nothing is said. We just exchange looks. Amazement on my face, lust on hers.’ I know, Jan would have given me a knowing smile at the mention of family jewels, because as good as his English is, when we first started preparing for the Dutch Playboy, scheduled for the US edition was an article titled Family Jewels by Roy Blount Jr.. Everyone in the department would remember the hilarious telex traffic between him and our rights manager Jean Freehill (Connell), trying to explain to Jan what the family jewels meant. To keep it simple, everyone in the department got a copy of all the incoming telexes. So Jean had to be extra careful in answering, oh so delicate a subject matter.   

‘And remember Nicole?  When we were doing 1986 World Cup pictorial  in Mexico and staying at Krystal in Puerto Vallarta? It was about seven in the morning when Pat calls me.

‘Haresh, can you please do me a favor and call Nicole and Emily and make sure they come in for makeup as soon as possible. I am waiting for them. Pompeo wants to get in as many shots as possible before ten so the light is still soft?’

Obviously Pat could have coaxed them out of bed herself, but at times chemistry between the makeup artist/stylist and the models is not the most congenial. Instead of wasting my time calling, I just pull up my shorts, put on a T-shirt and walk over to their rooms. First I knock on Emily’s door. She is already up and about, dressed only in her undies and the Krystal t-shirt, having huevos rancheros for breakfast. We brush cheeks. As beautiful as she is, the whiff of scrambled eggs wafting from her mouth is disillusioning.  But okay. I put her on alert, telling her to be in Pat’s suite for make up no later than in fifteen minutes. Leaving her to get ready, I strut over to the different building of the complex to Nicole’s room.

It takes a few knocks and some sleepy grunts from inside the room before I sense her getting out of bed and shuffle over to open the door. She is similarly dressed or undressed. Shouldn’t really matter. When you have seen them in the nude, day in and day out for several days. But it does. They are their most attractive and the most seductive when they are dressed. When they show up in the evening for dinner in their “street” clothes, squeezed into their tight fitting  jeans and the tops or wrapped in their revealing evening dresses. And when they are not modeling. Just being their own natural self makes them ever so alluring and dangerous. Ditto, when they are scantily dressed like Emily was while ago and Nicole is right now.

Her eyes half closed, she flings her blonde tresses – twists her entire body like a cat waking up from a snooze. ‘I’m so tired. Let me sleep just a little more,’ she says and climbs right back into bed and curls up like an escargot. Pulling up the blanket, bottom of which is squeezed between her legs.

‘Let me sleep just a little more, pretty please!’ She repeats herself and gives me a poor little girl look.

‘I’m sorry Nicole. Come on. Get up. Pompeo will be waiting for you on the beach promptly at eight. All ready to roll. ‘ I sit down at the edge of her bed and prod her more.  She slowly and seductively uncoils herself, sits up and leans slightly towards me and gives me a hurt look. Her cloudy green eyes darted into mine like a double arrowed bow pulled by multiple cupids hovering up above our heads. She seems lost in deep thoughts for a moment and then twirls her torso in the most languid slow motion.

‘I was wondering what would it feel like to make love to you?’ The sentence comes out seamlessly – in a drawl, like a streamer unfurling in a slow billowing motion . And even before I have time to process what she said, her lips are precariously close to mine – fluttering.  Our eyes blend together. And I am pulled on the bed. Or was it me who nudged her down? Doesn’t really matter. Just a small detail. And I am on top of her. Squeezed underneath me, and our lips locked, cradling in my arm is Nicole. Beautiful, beautiful Nicole. And then as suddenly I untangle myself and jump out of bed with; ‘come on Nicole. Get up and get ready!’ She gives me a hateful look. I give her my hand, look into her eyes. ‘Please Nicole!’ I plead.  She lowers her gaze and as she climbs down the bed, looking hurt, I hear her subdued grouse: ‘you’re so cruel!’

Was I thinking of Carolyn back home? Yes. Is that why I peeled myself away before she could find out what it would feel like to make love to me? Or me finding out how sweet would it feel to have made love to her? No.

There were other reasons. The guilt I would feel and the lies I may someday tell. But trickier yet, in my position as the leader of the project, I just couldn’t afford to get involved with one of the twelve girls of the team. It would change the complete logistics and the attitude not only that of   Nicole, but of every girl. And Nicole would suddenly  feel and behave like the queen bee. That was very apparent that very evening. Normally aloof, that night during the dinner, she makes it a point to sit next to me, if not exactly snuggling up, but with a bit more familiarity than up until then.

Let’s  pause here for a sec to consider: What if? Most probably the answer would be: Nothing. I knew that both Nicole and Ans had boyfriends back home. Both of them Europeans; probably had kinds of relationships in which they could include a bit of frolicking in their narration, get a chuckle or two at having seduced a Playboy editor. None of us would have followed up or tried to keep in touch and would be cordial if and when we ran into each other.  Never uttering a word about our little secrets. And for me, had Carolyn asked me, I probably would have told her. Or not. Because at the early stages of our relationship, we had brushed upon the subject and she had said: I would rather not know.

But in nutshell, these liaisons happen only in the moment. Like delicious little bonbons and the bright little rainbows floating off a bubble wand, or the dazzling bouquet of light rays sprouting out of the sparkler. But soon, the bubbles burst, the blinding rays of the sparkler die and the sweetness of the bonbons dissolve on your tongue. So do those short sweet moments fade into the past and then they are gone. Puff!

© Haresh Shah 2013

Illustration: Celia Rose Marks

SISTER SITE

http://www.downdivision.com

Next Friday, May 24, 2013

BEAUTY AND THE BREASTS

What is this with women and their breasts? And why are we so obsessed with them? Help, Herr Dr. Freud. Because all I feel qualified to contribute is to report on the state of affairs vis-à-vis, you know?