Extract from Michael Mitchell's translation

Keff Vidala's Until Love finds us

I only had my first experiences with women very late on. I think I was sixteen when I had my first real kiss, which I don't feel is embarrassing or bad today. But back then it was embarrassing to behave as if I'd bedded a hundred women without even having had my first kiss. In those days I pretended to have had it away with Brazilian, Italian, Japanese women and even an American Indian. I had, of course, worked out in advance the appropriate stories about how I'd won the girls over and had my answers ready. For example I claimed I'd got to know the Indian woman during a trip to America. I'd met her at a petrol station, I said, when she was just lighting a camp fire to summon her family, as is typical of Indians. My father had got out of the car to get some drinks for it had been a very hot summer's day in Texas. The place where we had stopped looked as if it came straight out of a cowboy film. The Indian woman had found me so attractive, that she couldn't hide the fact that she kept staring at me. With a cigarette between my lips, red boots and a casual chat-up line such as “What about it, Pocohontas?” I'd scored with her right away. I'd worked out a good story for the Japanese girl, whom I claimed I'd met on a trip to Tokio. I told my friends that my father was a ‘businessman’ so we often travelled abroad and that was how I happened to meet her in a sushi restaurant. In my imagination I saw her sitting with her giggling friends dressed in cosplay fashion as a manga figure: hair dyed blue, eyes made up to look large and a white girl's school uniform with stripes, that emphasised her perfect figure. Then, self-assured as I pretended to be, I'd put on my Ray-Ban sunglasses and slowly gone over to the girls and, with unbeatable casualness, said “Nĭ biăo zi” to them — which was unfortunately Chinese and translated as ‘you slut’. They had looked at me, shocked, but that Japanese girl found me so incredibly cool and, above all, sexy, that she came straight over to me and said in a lecherous voice, “Take me, Keff, here and now,” to which my response was a bored, “If I have to.” “And you expect us to believe that?” Samir had asked, disbelieving. “I swear it on my mother's grave,” I said, thumping my breast to make it sound more genuine.