The fan blades buried in the floor whirred to life as Delfina began her descent from the plexiglass bubble where she rode suspended over the front rows of the arena audience. When her five-inch bejeweled stilettos touched the stage, her dress flew up around her in a vortex of pink chiffon. Hands framing her face, she let her jaw drop, her eyes opening, feigning surprise, innocent, revealed, caught in the spotlight, a poster child for precious.
The iconic moment shifted quickly. Her hands dropped and cupped her breasts, her mouth closed, her eyes narrowed, and Delfina cocked her head to one side. Her tongue poked out of her mouth, licking slowly across her lips as her skirt billowed and waved.
The flesh tone of her thong looked like bare skin to anyone more than twenty rows back. She grabbed a microphone from a stand and screamed the words of the encore.
David Bowie is alleged to have said: I always had a repulsive need to be something more than human. I felt very puny as a human. I thought, "Fuck that. I want to be a superhuman.”
I’m not sure if this is a genuine quote or simply an apocryphal story to add to Bowie’s aura of superstar legend. I do know that the quote fits the milieu of our stereotypical expectations when we’re considering the rock star.
Delfina, eponymous hero of Delfina, is a rock star. The passage above shows us Delfina as she takes the stage for the final set of a triumphant tour. Her journey has been a gruelling one and her success, whilst deserved, has been hard won.
The story begins when Delfina is parting with an unsuitable lover. He’s caught in the arms of another woman and Delfina realises she’s been wasting her time investing a relationship without commitment.
Going away for a massage helps:
“Excuse me. I’m Martin. You’re here for a massage?”
He wore brown drawstring pants and a green t-shirt. His arms filled the fabric of the shirt, muscles taut and developed by years of physical work. His hands were large and well formed, hands that knew skin, that knew how to bring relief and pleasure. Delfina noticed that he wore no underwear; the outline of his penis was visible in the crotch of his pants. Short blond hair curled around his forehead, and his blue eyes met hers with a calm and quiet intelligence.
“Yes, I want a massage.”
“This way, please,” he said, and disappeared behind the curtain.
Delfina rose and followed. As she walked behind him, she saw that he was not massive, but simply strong, well built and well proportioned. A man who had spent time sculpting his own body, even as he worked on others.
He led her to a small room and closed the door. A massage table draped with sheets waited, a candle burned on a high round table, and slow Celtic guitar, gentle and evocative, played softly in the background. A warmer stood on one side, stocked with deep fabric towels, while another table held oils and lotions.
“Please,” he said. “What do you want me to do? There’s no time limit; we can go as long as you would like. Are there parts of your body that you’d like me to pay special
“All of me,” blurted out Delfina. “It’s been quite a week. Quite a month, actually. Well,
really, quite a year.”
Delfina is a story that sits in territory between erotica and romance. It’s a piece of fiction that gives the reader a backstage access to all areas of an intriguing character as she struggles to find the true meaning of success.
I have to admit, as a reader, this title didn’t work for me. I thought the dialogue was unconvincing and I had very little emotional investment in the characters. The sex scenes, when they came, were explicit and charged with appropriate vocabulary but it all felt a little mechanical and too superlative to be credible.
It’s likely that this is just me.
I’m not a big music lover of any description. I’ve quoted David Bowie earlier in this article but I think he’s enormously overrated. When you take that opinion into account (and I’m aware that I’m in a very tiny minority for holding such heretic views about Bowie) you can see that I’m probably not the right person to offer an opinion on a book about someone immersed in the music industry.
No doubt there are plenty of readers out there who will adore the writing of P K Belden and the antics of Delfina et al, but those readers and I will have to disagree as to whether or not this is an entertaining book.