I stood in my darkened bedroom and felt his warm, lithe body pressed against my back. His hands were impossibly cold.
“Here,” I said pulling them up to my bare breasts bathed in candlelight. “I have some hand warmers for you.”
He cupped them and moaned, lifted them up and peered at them over my shoulder as he nibbled my neck.
“Oh my God,” he said softly, “they’re fucking huge.”
“I take it you like big tits?” I laughed.
Clark had arrived a little after 9 after his mother’s 50th birthday party. I was exhausted and questioning the invitation in the first place, but he smiled at me, big and toothsome, and bent down to hug me and I thought how nice it was to see a smiling face.
“Ok, let’s do this Mastermind thing!” He clapped his hands and rubbed them together with an evil grin.
I was glad he had a plan since I had nothing.
His sudden interest in me has reached deep into my pit of dysfunction and pushed me away just so. When I was a girl the boys who had the right to like me, my friends, the ones who actually knew me, were never given the time of day. It was too painful, to terrifying. I had crushes on boys who barely knew I existed. They were safe; they’d never like me back though I longed and pined for them like it was my job. As an adult it’s not dissimilar, the feeling is identical. This itchy, panicky wave rolls through me and sets the alarm system. I must shut down, back away.
Today I’m trying to connect, open up, allow someone to like me and so I’m ignoring my panic with this young man and facing my fears.
His cold feet played with mine under the table as we stared at the game pieces and half-watched the rest of 9 to 5 from our last date. I lost a round and he blurted, “Take off your shirt!” I laughed and said it was too cold now remembering it was supposed to be strip Mastermind. “Ok, fine, then your skirt!”
He stood me up and pulled it off.
As the game wore on I took my contacts out and wore my glasses. He liked them. I told them they went a long way to a sexy librarian fantasy. “Just a twist of my hair held with a pencil and Bam! There you go!”
When I eventually lost my shirt for real he took my hand in his cold one and led me to my room. He was in just his underwear by then and I’d already put a brand new strip of condoms on the dresser.
His chilly touch and hot breath in the warm candlelight felt deliberate and surreal.
On my back on the bed he filled his mouth with my flesh and sucked and nibbled as I moaned and arched beneath him. “I could do this for hours, I think,” he said smiling at me.
“Good, because I have bad news. I’m spotting. I don’t think you want me sitting on your face tonight.”
He’d told me the night before that he’d never done that before and I’d said I’d happily oblige, his inexperience and eagerness endearing.
The passion between us was slow, but building, and I wanted it to last. Last time foreplay was intense and long, but our actual coupling only long seconds. I love how responsive he is to my touch, my body. A man who struggles with control is more like me.
I climbed between his legs and gripped his shaft, dove down on him and sucked. He pushed on my shoulders to stop almost as soon as I started. I bit his neck and nipples, kissed his flat belly. He told me no hand.
I opened my throat and let him hit the back of it, just a little. He moaned and tensed.
I felt his hands on my shoulders again.
“So what if you cum right now?” I asked. “Will you die? We can always wait 15 minutes.”
He agreed and put his hands on my head and gently pushed. He came after very little effort and I smiled as I swallowed his tang and climbed up to lay in his nook.
But the fifteen minutes never happened. Instead we talked and he ran his fingers up and down my arm and I played with his balls and he pet Faisal and we laughed and got sleepy together.
“I’m really tired. I don’t think it’s going to happen tonight.” It wasn’t an apology and I liked that.
We made plans to see each other on Sunday and then he told me not get dressed and walk him out. He thought that was very funny.
Instead I wore an open flannel and chit chatted with him while he got redressed and thought he was far to0 fashionable for me. I walked him to the door and we kissed sweetly and he left. “Bye, Hy,” he said before he disappeared down the stairs. “Have a good night.”
I am nothing if not honest with myself. In the annals of my memory I recall identifying one of the things I really loved about The Neighbor and it was that he rejected me while still being magnetic. For me, intimacy is inextricably tied to denial and hurt and it is my work to untangle it all. It’s why I date the kinds of men I do and why I am perpetually in a quandary.
If it were a simple matter I would have stopped back when I was a schoolgirl when I knew it to be true even then. My barometer isn’t reliable and I second-guess my instincts when things do seem potentially real. It’s how I ended up married.
Today I’m exploring all avenues and dark corners. Tonight I have a first meeting with an experienced sub male. He calls me Miss(tress) when he addresses me and has more toys than your neighborhood sex shop. I’m at once intimidated and excited. On Thursday a handsome scientist is taking me to an Irish pub and on Friday I have a first date with a man friends set me up with — a total first. Technically I’d even call it a blind date because I agreed to go out with him before I saw what he looked like: tall, bearded, with a soft face with something lurking beneath.
And I dreamt of The Neighbor again last night. I had returned to his house to get my things and his woman was there with him. My friends were somewhere in the background, as well, and when his woman kissed him inches from my face and he pulled her playfully down on his lap in front of me I yelled and sobbed at his insensitivity. My friends became dark clouds of disapproval and he shoved her off his lap and tried to talk to me. I told him he never had the right to lay eyes on me again and I was touched at the hurt it caused him.
I sped away down his dark street sobbing, my heart-broken all over again.
One of these days, it’ll all stop hurting, I’m certain of it. I’m just not sure when.
I woke up and realized that the one-year anniversary of him quitting us is any day now. Apparently, my heart remembers more than I do.