In the mornings when everyone is gone I masturbate. An act I had never been interested in before. But now, now it’s like a ritual and right after, I spiral into a shame vortex. I wonder if God can see me and if he feels bad. I wonder if he thinks I’m wasting my life away. I wonder if he could see when Richard used to kiss me in his basement. Or when I let boys touch me under the desk in school. And I carry those thoughts all day. During my coffee and on my lonely drives to work. I’ve marinated in these thoughts for years.
On the night of my 28th birthday I touched myself for the first time.
Earlier that afternoon, I stood in the rain nervously waiting for you to pick me up.
Have you ever stood in the rain, in the middle of a downtown street, on an empty Wednesday night? Unfathomably happy? Not happy. Happy is too simple. Jovial, delighted, lighthearted? The perfect end to a wonderful birthday.
You give the most delicate gifts. Perfectly catered to who I am. Four perfect lemons, rightfully picked from your tree. The book, neatly wrapped in a avant-garde theater announcement. A small white box full of chocolate croissants. A tiny little card with only about ten words. And always, always the offer of a cup of coffee.
I’m sure that night you thought:
Twenty-eight is still young. Twenty-eight is not even half a lifetime.
But without knowing, you fueled my little heart. There was an innocent yet erotic air about the night. The closeness of our laughs, the shared sips of coffee, Vivaldi’s Spring.
I rushed home that night. Enamored with how perfect the night had been. My hands vibrating, buzzing almost, from our earlier embrace.
The idea that someday you’ll kiss me lingered in my fingers as I made my way to an unknown territory. The dampness made me shy away. And at that shyness, I began to ask questions.
What embarasses you about such a natural process?
Why do you not shy away from embracing your lovers in your mouth?
Why are you quick to fake your moans but afraid to fully understand yourself?
My fingers lingered on my navel. My eyes closed, my breathing relaxed, my mind on you.
I pictured my head tilting slightly to the right. Lips very delicately parting, inviting your soft shy tongue. I could feel my arms lift up to your shoulders and wrap around your neck. Like two teenagers kissing in the middle of school grounds. Soon my fingers parted a desolate garden. My finger gliding, painting, remembering every sensation that brought me here. I could smell the lemons on my nightstand.
My eyes tightly shut as a calm sweetness made its way all over my body.
A surge of energy made its way to all my limbs,
goosebumps making all the hair on my body stand,