“It’s the opposite of lonesome,” I told L once as we lay on our sides quietly after sex, still coupled with her thigh resting on my hip, my cock held snugly for the moment inside her while our breath slowed, and our heartbeats eased up on their pounding and trickled to a normal rhythm.
What a curious thing to say. Am I just so un-evolved that the opposite of lonesome isn’t, say, Thanksgiving dinner with my closest friends and family?
* * *
I should say that L was just here for two weeks, and now she’s gone, and I think maybe it was a dream, a pathetic lonely man’s erotic fantasy.
Just as maybe I dreamed, 25 years ago when neither of us was married, but we were both living with someone else, and I drove her home from some drunken event where we’d been hanging out with friends, and plastered as I was, I was still a gentleman and opened her door for her, but not so much of a gentleman that I refrained from putting my hand on her waist to stop her as I bent and tasted her soft lips for the first time, and it could easily have turned out to be the last time. She doesn’t remember that kiss, so maybe I did imagine it.
I’m pretty sure I didn’t imagine the party a couple of years ago, with many of the same friends from those decades past, the deep pleasure of having the people who’d known us so long begin to see that we were turning into something. Lovely watching her dance, lovely of her to force my shy self to slow dance with her, probably not even aware of the partial erupting in my jeans while we held each other and our friends chatted over wine and carrot sticks. When everybody was dancing in the living room, and I was at the table eating crackers and talking with Danny, she danced in for a couple of seconds with this crazy happy smile on her face like Patty Duke at a sock-hop. I said to Danny, “I like that one.” Danny had known L since grad school, too, and I know he was jealous.
Why did I feel spectacularly not-alone at that moment, when I know that we’re all essentially alone in this universe, and the only reasonable goal is to be complete in yourself, not to expect anyone else to complete you? I know that; I know I got to walk the valley of the shadow of death alone.
* * *
The first night she was here on this trip, she said to me as we were settling in, getting used to each other again after weeks apart, “I was distracted working today. I had on my work pants with the elastic waistband, and I was thinking how easy it would be for you to slide them off me and get to the parts you’re interested in….” Her fingers trailed along my arm, waking my flesh as her words reached and caressed my imagination.
I liked that; I like to believe that there is a moment or two during any week when she can’t get me out of her head. I like to imagine that we are tuned in to each other in some way across the country so that an occasional moment of deep bliss blossoms simultaneously in her and in me.
For her to feel what I feel, or to put it another way, if I could see the inside of her dream in the first-person – that would be the opposite of lonesome.
But time and space are always there, aren’t they, separating us even when we’re in the thoughts of another, even if we’re in the same room, even if we’re touching?
* * *
From an email I sent to L some time ago, when I ached from the separation of that week or month:
There was a morning in NY when I was doing you by hand, and when you came you arched and turned and tried to pull away and I pressed against your back, following you across the bed, my fingers in the soft wet skin, breathing your hair, tasting your neck, holding you for probably too long, not wanting to let you go until the last possible moment when you wouldn’t take it anymore…
* * *
Am I just un-evolved, that my idea of the opposite of lonesome has to involve physical connection?
Sometimes when I’m inside her, I mean when my cock is inside L’s cunt, sometimes I wonder about the thing that passes between us, in the moments before orgasm, during orgasm; it’s like a spark, or almost like a chill down the back, which is called a “frisson,” I believe.
It makes me happy to imagine that, at those moments, I’m not feeling only the impulses of my own nervous system, but that her neurons and ganglia are singing and dancing together with mine. That the spark we feel is the sensation of literal electrons leaping between us in the warmth inside her.
This is partly a physiological question about neurons and electrons, but it’s also about that sweet feeling of annihilation that makes fucking someone you love such a deep, deep pleasure. It’s having your boundaries smudged just a little the way good dope used to, if you were stupid enough to do dope when you were young.
What kind of boundary is there anyway, that can be smudged?
* * *
I was an emotional toad with L recently, during a weekend that should have been fine; some dark mood had taken me over, despite the fact that we’d spent a pleasant day with family and close friends. For no reason I could put my finger on I felt terrible, alone, insignificant, lost in the universe. We happened to be refraining from sex that night because there was family sleeping within earshot. I couldn’t explain when she asked about it. “I’m off today,” I said. “Out of tune, sort of. I just generally feel awful and strange, like I lost my soul.” My very inability to express the feeling must have seemed a demonstration of it.
“Oh,” she said softly in sympathy. The poor baby was left unstated.
She wrapped herself around me, reached over my waist and put her hand on my dick and whispered, “Let’s see if we can help you find your soul.” She’s not a person to be careless in her choice of words, and she must have intended them literally in some way.
She ran her fingers along my thigh, touched my belly, my ass softly, pulled on my dick and it became hard quickly. I reached behind me to stroke the cushy triangle of her mound, tracing the line between her thighs up to the soft place where three creases, two on either side of her mons, one between her thighs, met just next to her opening, exploring the softness of each crease until she spread her thighs so my fingertip could slide along the slickness of her lips, massage her clit until she was wet and open.
She squeezed my dick and said, “I want this in me,” because she did want my dick in her, but also because she wanted to help me find my soul.
She opened her legs for me and guided me inside; she was all giving that night; she knew the pleasure between us would heal my isolation. Her cunt enveloped me like warmth on a freezing night.
I know I always try to think too much but the thoughts are often the inescapable flip side of the experience. Even as I felt the pleasure inside her, I wondered if the sparks between us are literal sparks, literal physical electrons; do specks of each of us break the boundary of our physical beings at that moment, shooting membrane to membrane, flecks of my energy into her nervous system, and hers to mine? Is that why sexual pleasure is like no other, because, unlike a fine conversation where it only feels like you’ve connected, in sex the two bodies have actually dissolved the line in some small way that divides me from not-me?
I know I try to think too much; I know it’s impossible to understand any of this with your intellect.
“I feel you coming,” she said softly in my ear, and within minutes I was asleep.