Everyone comes to Sodom for something different. What are you looking for?
Nadica doesn’t talk. Nadica doesn’t play. Nadica takes her photographs, and takes them exceedingly well. And that’s all any guest ever sees her do.
For while Nadica interacts with the other guests, she’s never physically intimate with them. She touches only enough to suggest positioning that would work better for her photographs. She smiles, whilst adroitly avoiding invitations to play. She focuses on her passion, and stays focused on her work.
For Nadica, every photograph is a homage to her lover.
Once, it had been Nadica and Darija together – and they had been happy, or at least fairly well. They lived their lives, working together as journalist and photographer in Sarajevo, discreet lovers in a country that was not particularly tolerant of anything other than man and wife.
Then came the war, with its full measure of heartbreak and horror. For Nadica was Bosnian, and Darija was Serbian – and Serbians were in the minority, and looked upon with distrust. Whether it was because she was a journalist, a Serb, a woman, or a lesbian – Nadica never found out. But Darija lost her job, and then was simply and completely disappeared.
There were no goodbyes.
She could not openly mourn. The loss of a colleague, a little – but only as one who had already ‘been downsized’. Talking openly about the disappeared was likely to get you disappeared yourself, and as the atrocities piled higher and higher, Nadica found herself beginning to tread numbly through the carnage. She photographed everything, saw nothing. Felt less. Was a good little worker bee.
Until the day they found her screaming on the street. Screaming her lovers name. Screaming and screaming and screaming. So they disappeared her as well.
Nadica has no idea how she came to leave Bosnia, or why her battered Leica camera was the only thing to come with her. She has no idea how or when she lost her tongue. She is unable to remember if, while she was disappeared, there was torture, psychiatric care, or something better or worse.
She doesn’t know if Darija is alive or dead.
She has no photographs of Darija.
She lost five and a half years, in total. But she found herself again.
In Nadica’s private space at Sodom, she has her own darkroom in a converted ensuite, which she uses to print the photographs she deems the best. She has a few – a very few – images on her walls. She thinks of them as Memory, captured as works of art.
But when, on those rare occasions, she pleasures herself, it is always Darija with her. Darija’s tongue tracing her labia. Darija kissing her. Darija’s lovely arse lowering onto her face. She has albums of Darija in her memory, and at her fingertips – and as she comes in a roaring o of pleasure, it is with Darija’s name on her lips.
For while every photograph is homage, every orgasm is remembrance.
Previous chapter: What’s in a Name?