Interview with Tami Smithers
This article is for internal use only. Not for release outside the Institute, except as required by law.
My Interview with the Professor by Stephanie Weingarten(continued)
Apparently some faculty disagreement having to do with committees or something. I motioned if I should go but she bid me to say. As she spoke she launched into another orgasm, one which hardly interrupted her conversation, betrayed only by a slight pause and a couple of stammered words. And the spasms of her tummy, rhythmic and silent, as she stayed on her dildo chair and listened and spoke. She got a little animated; it sounded like someone on the faculty was trying to make a power play as to elective requirements. Faculty politics is something I don't miss. I felt odd listening in. This conversation was something that shouldn't get around. But she knew I was pledged to secrecy.
Partway through the conversation the professor's toes began to dance on the split keyboard below. Amazing. She could use her toes like fingers. Her left foot clasped the mouse and moved it around as she looked at the monitor to her side. That little task done, she brought her foot up with startling flexibility and, using what looked like a hot dog tong, plucked a swatch of fur-like material from a drawer and placed it next to my elbow.
I looked at her toenails. Like her fingernails, they were closely and meticulously trimmed but unpainted. Her toes were kind of freaky -- widely spaced, almost like fingers, and almost as dexterous too. She could move each once independently, as I saw as she drummed them on the desk. Then with her other foot she reached up and scratched a nipple with her pinky toe. Like a monkey. The third toe of her left foot had a ring-shaped tattoo on it, the only thing interrupting her perfect, hairless, unadorned naked beauty. Yes, this hairlessness was kind of beautiful, once you got used to it.
The conversation went on for a bit. From her end of it I got the sense the power play was about to be, if not defeated, at least smoothed out diplomatically. And now her tummy muscles announced another silent orgasm.
She hung up.
After a few moments of silence she said, "Feel that."
I picked up the furry swatch. It was warm, wonderful, sensuous. . . "Wow. . . Is this what you were passing around in class?"
"No, a newer formulation I designed. I'm weaving in more natural fibers with the biodegradable synthetics."
Her original patented design, "Cherish", was of course the foundation of her professional reputation and now the standard fabric for all U.S. armed services. But in the ten years since, she had kept on inventing.
"What do you think?"
"Mmmmm . . . it's warm and . . . " It felt almost wet, like my fingers were plunging into a warm bubble bath.
She smiled, her scalp crinkling. "I knew it!"
"How do you -- "
"I take galvanic readings with a steel sensor. Also, I just ask people how it feels."
"What is that . . . coconut smell? Lotion?"
"No, it's my enema today. This one is a gift from one of my students. Ohhhh. . . . They compete as to who can get me the nicest smelling one. Cool, isn't it?"
"Yes. T - tastes good, too," she said, moving her butt around on her chair as she began to crest again.
I didn't know what she meant by that.
Now I was beginning to notice the rhythm of her multiple orgasms. I've never had them. I'm a once-and-it's-over girl. But Professor Smithers came, then quickly subsided to a plateau, then ramped up to another orgasm, then subsided again. . . I detected the ramping up and observed, "You have a lot of orgasms."
She smiled. "It's -- either th - that or freezing my buns off. Wh - which would you rather dooo -- ohhhh!"
"How many have you had today?"
"The next one will be numberrrr . . . th - thirty eight -- ohhh . . . I average . . . about two hundred . . . a d - day . . ."
Two hundred orgasms a day! I was disoriented by this information and didn't think through the next question. "Do you ever fake an orgasm?"
The words were no sooner out of my mouth than I realized how ridiculous this question -- a typical question for a journalist to ask a woman when talking about orgasms -- was in the present context. The naked, hairless woman impaled on two dildos looked at me and her eyes crinkled and she giggled and then laughed as she came.
I laughed at myself too. But the professor's laughter wasn't ridicule at me but at the absurdity of the question, as if she were holding it up in the air for our mutual amusement. And the way her laughter bubbled up amid her moans and spasms -- it was enchanting. People say that a baby's laugh is the happiest sound in the world. Well, this was a close second.
We laughed together, her laughs interspersed with gasps and moans, making her orgasm longer, as I could tell from the extended jerks of her tummy, in and out, in and out, stimulated by the dildos within and the pad on her clitoris.
As we calmed down, the phone rang again. She thought of something to write with her steel pen (she's left-handed) and picked the phone up with her foot, clasping it securely in her toes as, with seemingly impossible limberness, she brought it fully up to her ear without having to bend forward. "Oh hi Homer . . . yes . . . the booth . . . could you make the points on the ramp sharper? I don't know if it's me, or the tread, but I'm s - starting to lose traction . . . How's Mayree? . . . Good . . . glad to hear that . . . bye . . ."
And now, a knock on the door.
It was the girl from class in the fake-fur jacket, who her companions seemed to think was slow, when she could not make out the professor's slurred, shivering words. "Oh come on in, Phyl." The girl grabbed a jacket from the hooks and looked at me politely. I can tell when a student thinks she's failing. They have that "look". I tactfully excused myself.
Out in the hall, so help me, I listened through the closed door. My reporter instincts, I suppose. But I could only make out an occasional word. Apparently this girl was in trouble academically and the professor was giving her some helpful advice -- going part-time to concentrate on fewer classes, perhaps. It was hard to tell. I did hear a couple of gasps interspersed with the nude professor's kind words. During the approximately ten minute talk I surmised she talked through three orgasms. Amazing, how her students could be so casual about such things.
The girl left, apparently a bit reassured, and once again I was alone with Professor Smithers. I asked about the pictures. "You come from a military family."
"Yes. My dad was a Navy man. With my husband, it was part of his engineering scholarship," she said, pointing to the hunky black man. "He had to go back to Iraq, which is where he got hurt, and later they sent him to Iran. My brother" -- pointing to the young solder with the flag -- "he enlisted. He did Iraq, Iran and Syria. He's a Master Sergeant now," she said, with obvious pride. I'd done my year of War on Terror duty, of course, like anyone, but I was full of admiration too. Patrolling, searching train passengers, doing neighborhood data mining software installation and the like, is nothing like actually being on the front lines.
She continued about her brother. "He's teaching now at Fort Benning. Thank god he's out of Iraq, that was the worst. I wish that war would end."
And now the hunky black man came in. "Hi Babe." He was in a blue sweater, the sleeve to his missing arm pinned to the front. Discolored streaks and scars were on his cheek, but he was still handsome. From what I was told, he had almost gotten killed by a roadside bomb during his first tour.
Rod, the husband, greeted me rather formally but politely. "I'm just finishing up," I told him.
"No, it's O.K., I just wanted to give her her lunch." And Rod pulled an enormous hero sandwich out of a shoulder bag and laid it in front of his wife.
"Oh boy, a tuna grinder." She didn't have a Providence accent but only the natives use that word. "You're a doll, Baby!" Another kiss and Rod was gone, knowing about our appointment later.
"So, you have -- " I paused just to notice that she was practically inhaling the sandwich, washing it down with bottled water -- "do you have any plans?"
"What do you mean?" she said, rather unguardedly with a full mouth.
"I mean, staying here, your career . . ."
"Well" -- munch, munch, and a gasp as she ascended from her plateau again -- "I'm 31 now so I should think about having kids . . . mmmm. . . this is good . . ." Within a minute, I'm not kidding, she had consumed most of the hero. "I'm talking with d - doctors to see if it's p - possible -- ohhhh. . ." Truly a multitasker, she could talk, eat, and shudder through an orgasm at the same time.
She finished up the sandwich and now looked at the clock. "Almost time for my next class." Then she drew down from the top of the desk two long rubber wires that came out from behind the wall. On the end of each was a large suction cup like thing. She fastened them to her nipples, and gasped when each was attached. "I n - need one big one to finish."
"What are those?"
"They have bristles that s - stimulate my n - nipples. Here," she said detaching one, "want to feel?"
I didn't particularly want to, but I stuck my finger inside and immediately jerked it out. It felt like some lamprey-like animal had fastened its mouth around my finger and was sucking the life out of me with thousands of moving, scraping tiny teeth. Ughh!
It seemed like such intense, rasping suction would tear up any girl, but the professor placed the tube back on her huge, stiff nipple and we both sat there, her nipples being suctioned and rasped and bit, until she came to an explosive orgasm, longer than all the others. Her head bent down and she moaned and her fists pounded the desk again and again, her bare feet slapping on the metallic floor, as the orgasm ran its course. I watched helplessly, as if it was something I should rescue her from but lacked the power to do so. After the last spasm she looked up at the ceiling as if in prayer, catching her breath.
I waited for a tactful moment and said, "Thanks for your time." Still catching her breath, she looked at me and nodded. I got up as she detached the tubes and eased off the dildos. And now I felt a pang of sadness as she entered the subfreezing interior of the movable booth. She stood bolt upright as she placed her feet on the metal ramp, then closed her eyes, as if to brace herself for another hour at minus ten Celsius. I could see the goose bumps rising again on her breasts, her arms, her thighs. Then, her breath coming out in clouds, she said goodbye to me and her tough bare feet set the treadmill in motion and she was gone, the booth moving on its unseen wheels down the hall back to her specially built classroom.
* * *
I entered the office of Rodney Sykes and was immediately overwhelmed by old-style blueprints. They were on all the walls. I was surprised to see the man himself not at the computer, which sat on a small desk in the corner, but at the large drafting table which took over the center of the room. In the same type of sweater he had on when he delivered the tuna hero to his naked, orgasming wife, though a different color, its useless left arm similarly pinned to the front of what looked like a well-developed torso. I wondered how a one-armed person would exercise . . . wouldn't the armless side of the chest necessarily get less workout?
He greeted me a little stiffly, like before, and put his pencil down and looked at me as I sat, necessarily below his eye level, in a comfortable chair, one of only two other chairs in the big office. The overhead track lighting reflected off his shaved black scalp, shinier than his wife's. He had a short goatee, flecked with gray. As I noted, a handsome face, despite the network of depigmented scars on his lower cheek and that side of his neck.
I remembered Tami's account (I've gotten to refer to her like everyone else does now, by her first name) of his injuries. I also remembered his lack of warmth toward me, and the fact that he had kept putting this meeting off. So I spoke very politely. I began, "Let me first say . . . I greatly admire the sacrifice you made in Iraq, you and so many others."
"You and I both know that's crap."
I was shocked and had to think quickly. Though I'd met this type of attitude before. When it comes from disabled soldiers themselves I just can't understand it. How can they dishonor the memory of their comrades, the 200,000 American soldiers who have died in Iraq, not to mention the 100,000 who have died in Iran and the 50,000 in Syria?
"So many have given their lives," I said.
"Their lives weren't given," he said. "They were wasted. They died for nothing, except for a politician's ego. The guys on my truck died for nothing. I lost my arm for nothing. Tell me, why do Americans love war so much? Wave the flag, tell a few lies, and they always say yes. And then they see a guy like me on the street with scars and no arm and say, we've got to keep fighting. So that next year there will be *ten* guys like me on the street with no arm. And that makes them say we really got to keep fighting."
I stood up for myself. "I'm sorry but I'm not here to argue. I meant to be polite."
He exhaled and put his head in his hand. Then he looked out the window, and for a moment looked like he was about to cry. Then he turned to me. "Look I'm sorry."
As I waited, he got up and walked across the room to turn off the light. "I've had a bad day. It's five o'clock. Do you mind if we go downstairs?"
"What?" We were up on the sixth floor, in this old office building about three blocks from the fashion institute.
"There's a lounge down there, a nice quiet place. I feel like a drink. You can join me, of course."
"Um . . ."
Twenty minutes later, there we were, in a little alcove in the Bosket Lounge. I decided to pay. Like a lot of places these days they preferred Euros. I shouldn't have, not on the job, but I was sipping a red wine, watching him nurse his gin and tonic and waiting for him to speak.
"I had some bad news today," he said. "Tami's been showing signs of her allergy." This was bad news to me as well. It had been two weeks since I'd interviewed her. "We've had to crank her booth down another two degrees Celsius. And her office too."
So Tami had to get a little colder. "That makes me sad too," I said. After a decorous pause, I said, "My assignment is to get information. I was wondering: she either has to shiver at, what, minus 12 now? Or she can exist at plus 8 Celsius, as long as she has constant orgasms. Is that her whole life? How does she get sleep?"
"At home we have a special apparatus that gives her a status orgasmus."
"A special kind of extended orgasm. It lasts about two minutes usually, and knocks her out. Then I lie her down. She can sleep for eight to ten hours like that at up to plus thirteen Celsius. Then the allergy kicks in again, and wakes her up. Then she goes into her booth."
"What, the moveable one?"
"No, she has a bigger one at home. Room sized, almost."
"How do you . . . make love?"
"I keep my shirt and socks on, and like that I'm O.K. for a long time really, at ten Celsuis, I mean eight now. Most of our house is at that setting." I had heard how he, as both engineer and architect, had designed their special house, way at the other end of the state, near Westerly. "Way at the other end of the state" meaning 25 miles away.
"It must be better for her in the winter."
"She gets around more, yes, outside. She loves to play in the snow, make snowmen." He grinned, a welcome change. "Though usually it's, um, anatomically correct snowmen and snowwomen having sex. A big hit with the neighbors. And she likes going to the beach. We're near Moonstone Beach, which has been a nude beach for years. That photo of her in her office, building the sand castle, that was at Moonstone."
"There was a court decision years ago, wasn't there? About Moonstone? Something about nudism being a protected religion."
"Um . . . yes, we know."
"That must have been a very fortunate decision for her, wasn't it?"
He gave me a strange look.
"I've heard that you are quite a star yourself in the orgasms department."
This attempt at getting a smile from him succeeded. Bleak as his situation (or rather, his wife's situation) was, he seemed to be relaxing, for which I felt quite pleased with myself. "Yes, you've heard."
"Of course." Many people had. It was well known that Tami's husband was one of those men who had multiple orgasms and that he had consented to have them documented in the laboratory, and that he had helped run seminars on the topic. As a result many men had now learned that capacity. It made me a little jealous, and seemed a bit unfair. As a woman I'm the one who's supposed to be multiorgasmic, yet I can only manage one at a time. But so many others can't have any at all, including all those returning veterans with PTSD. So I really can't complain.
Returning to my task, I asked, "Have there been any attempts to cure Tami's allergy?"
Rod Sykes paused so as to give me a thoughtful answer. "Early on, but each attempt seemed to make it worse. Then a few years ago, we heard about Henry Ross."
"Oh, yes. I was told about him."
"Yes . . . Well as you recall, he was reported captured by terrorist rebels in Burma who thought he was a spy. Of course he wasn't, no matter what the media said, he was just smuggling. They tortured him and killed him. Then the details of the torture came out. It was exactly what Tami had sometimes fantasized about as the proper punishment for him, when she would get drunk."
"Right," I remembered. "They put his testicles in a vise and kept squeezing until they popped." He lived for a week afterward, until finally they disemboweled him. It made all the news shows, and led to calls for an invasion. But there weren't enough troops available, even with the draft we have now.
"Yes," he said, shifting uneasly in his chair, as I suppose any man would. "So that did a real guilt trip on Tami. She's hated Ross but would never really wish that on anyone. Her allergy suddenly got worse. She went into anaphylactic shock and they had to rush her into a freezer. By the time I got there she was standing on a block of ice, and they were pressing more blocks of ice against her, front and rear. That's when I had to think fast and set up the climate control."
"But what happened to Ross wasn't her fault."
"Yes, but . . . I blame it on her Catholic upbringing. Guilt, original sin. If something bad happens, it's always your fault somehow."
"I thought her family was supportive."
"Oh of course. Her dad was in a way the rock of her life, until he died. Her brother thinks of her as a hero, even though he's the one who's been in three wars. And her mother . . . " Suddenly and surprisingly his eyes got wet. "You should have seen how proud she was when she finally got her college degree. She had always wanted to go to college, but couldn't afford it until Tami and I paid her way through. It was a beautiful day, and they were able to get Tami's booth out there, even though it was hard for Tami to see because of all the frost in the booth. Martha went over with her diploma and they touched hands through the glass as everyone cheered.
"Sorry for getting emotional", he said, smiling. With his dark skin, in the dim light of the bar his white teeth were almost the only part of him I could see.
After a moment I said, "How is your business going?"
"Pretty well, considering. I'm lucky to get some Canadian clients recently."
"I heard your specialty is refrigeration."
"Well, it's *become* my specialty. Air conditioning too. Designing climate environments that take minimal energy. Not too many people do that. Business is O.K., considering the sorry shape our country's in. And I like being my own boss."
I felt like there was not much more for me to ask. I reflected on what we'd talked about. "Tami is very brave and yet very modest," I observed.
"As she sees it, she's lucky. She thinks of all the people who get killed in wars. And the arm that I lost. Or others with disabilities. Her friend Marisol, for example. A college friend of hers. For years she's badly needed a breast reduction but she can't because she's hemophilic and can't undergo surgery. The last time we visited her, down in the Bronx, she was almost disabled by back pain."
"That's a shame."
"Yes . . . so I suppose in the big scheme of things Tami's right. There are people worse off."
"And a lot of people love her."
"Yes . . . She's surrounded by freezing air, but also by love."
"And she has lots of orgasms."
"She counts every one in her head. Did you know that?"
No, I hadn't been told. "Seems impossible."
"She's always been good with numbers. She aced her major, math, when she was an undergrad." Then he paused and said, "There are some things about her orgasms that are curious. I'm sure you've heard that she can't bring herself off, with her own hand."
No, I hadn't heard that. More and more I was beginning to think my briefing had been incomplete.
"Also . . . you know about theta waves?"
"Aren't those . . . brain waves?"
"Yes. A couple of years ago there was some research in Germany where they compared theta waves of men and women during repeated orgasm. The men's were all the same. That wasn't surprising to me. For men, multiple orgasms are a learned response and theoretically, at least, any man can experience them. But women seem to fall into two classes, according to their theta waves. Some are naturally multiorgasmic, and others are once-and-it's over."
Like me, I thought. Though I wasn't comfortable disclosing anything so personal about myself. Not to a man. "It's obvious what class Tami falls into."
"Actually no. Tami volunteered to get hooked up to the machine. According to her theta waves, she is a one-orgasm woman."
"How can that be?"
"During those experiments at Chalfont, when she was strapped into those machines, she was forced to have further orgasms even after every fiber of her being wanted to be left alone after the first one. And she was forced to respond over and over and over again, session after session, all semester. So with her, multiple orgasms are unnatural. But she ended up needing them and finally craving them. And I think she sees Chalfont and Ross in her mind every time she comes. That probably goes a long way to describing her allergy. Though what goes on inside her mind, not even she probably knows. She's a very, very complicated person."
I already suspected there was a lot going on in that pretty, goose-bumped, shaved head . . . We sat and finished our drinks. Then Rod said, "Let me at least get the tip. I have a few." Euros, that is. He got up. "It's almost six o'clock. Time to collect her."
"How do you manage that?"
"Our jeep has a glass box in the passenger seat. One thing she misses is being able to drive. And work on cars. That was a big thing with her."
"Can I come with you? I want to see this jeep."
"O.K. . . ." As we emerged into sunlight, shielding our eyes, he said, "At least the price of gas went down."
"Yes. . . Finally! Back to twenty bucks a gallon."
"It's about time."
End of part 2