I had returned from the Land of Many Wonders, a distant place which had been difficult to get to and to which I might never return. Suffering Girl was with me. She was sitting up on her rumpled bed, wearing only a thin white T-shirt and very thin white panties that distinctly outlined the shape of her crotch. I found the vision delightful and immensely desirable.
We were sitting by the tall half open windows of her room. A yellow light streamed through the glass and the thin brown curtains, turning everything in the room into a twilight shade of sepia. I could feel the soft cushion of her futon underneath me. My right hand was on her naked thigh, my left hand was pressing down against the white sheets that were crushed underneath my own weight.
I was looking into her eyes and she was doing her best to maintain her eyes on mine. Every so often she would look away, as if forced to do so by a force greater than her own will. She would then look towards the windows, towards the bookshelves where all her school books were waiting, to the notebooks that were still lying open in the middle of the room.
Her black hair was uncombed and a few strands were draped over her forehead and her eyes, in a way that made her even more desirable. When she spoke, her voice was soft and cautious, as if she was also aware of the delicacy of the moment, as if she knew how easy it would be to make it all go away.
“I really do need to understand it… I want you to listen to me and take what I say as seriously as you can… because I really do need to understand…men are like a strange mystery to me… for all the years that I have been around them, I can’t bring myself to a place where I feel safe in knowing what they really want…what are the thoughts that go on behind their eyes… I feel like I can never know their true hidden intentions…”
I looked at her eyes which were shifting again. For a moment her attention was lost outside as a car drove by, covering the tall windows in bright white light. The light splashed over us, and for a moment we seemed to be frozen white statues, captured for eternity in this second of tentative contact.
“The first time I ever felt like I could grasp the masculine point of view… it was when my friend told me about a friend of hers… an older man… I may have met him once… he wore overalls and drove a large pickup truck… maybe it was someone else…she said that he had slowly progressed from being just a man… a sometimes happy man… a regular man… he had progressed from being what I had known… what I had maybe known… he had gone from that to a state of total impotence and insecurity…a state where he couldn’t do anything, where he didn’t have any strength or power of his own…and it had all happened because of his relationships with women… women had done this to him…that was the first time I understood that just like men can destroy women, so can women destroy men…”
Her black eyes opened up wide and she tried to explore my thoughts without asking, silently begging me to say something, to make a comment, to agree with or contradict what she was saying. I let my eyes remain on hers and I waited for her to continue.
“I need you to tell me the details of what happens… I need to know what it’s like from your perspective… I need to know how things truly work behind your eyes… do you understand?… I need to go deep beneath the surface to find out what it is that you are hiding… what it is that you are all hiding. “
She took a deep breath and her small breasts rose up towards me. Her dark thick nipples poked against the fabric. My hand moved up her thigh and came to rest on her hip. I pushed my fingers under the elastic band of her panties and felt the softness of her soft flesh against my hand. She shifted on the bed slightly and the weight of her right leg came to rest on my knee.
Her eyes looked back at the window for a moment. A car drove by again, but this one was further away so the light didn’t hit us like before. We could only hear the sound of the motor as it approached and then faded away.
“I need you to tell me the details… you have to talk to me in a very clear and direct language… it is only through details and through simplicity that one can arrive at a complete and full comprehension of the spiritual state of another being.”
Her last sentence echoed through the room like a big brass bell. Her voice had changed as she said it, it had become thicker and stronger and much more precise. I took a deep breath myself, sensing that something else had entered the room and that it was now my turn to speak at last.
“I believe that the way in which you are now speaking contradicts what you are apparently saying.”
As soon as I said it, she got very flustered. Her head shook and her eyes darted from one corner of the room to another. Her mouth opened and her white teeth pushed out between her thin lips, in a kind of nervous smile that begged for a kind of underlying sympathy. I stayed still and watched her. I couldn’t say why my words had the effect they were having but it was clear that something had been stirred within her.
“What was wrong with the last sentence I spoke? What was wrong with it?”
Her whole face was now a mask of fear and insecurity. It slipped through her black eyes like cold water pouring softly onto the bed where we sat.
“It was not just the last sentence… it was the last several sentences that you spoke…”
I looked down at her naked thighs and my fingers traced a curved shape around her hips, trailing slowly towards her buttocks. Her brown nipples were distinctly outlined under her white T-shirt and I felt a strong urge to pull it over her head to reveal them in their complete nakedness, to make them vulnerable to my hungry mouth.
“Please explain what you just said… please explain it to me… I need to understand it…it is very important for me that I understand…”
I shook my head slowly, with a sense of finality that she immediately recognized.
“I would rather kiss you,” I said and, before I was finished saying it, my face was moving slowly towards hers, as my right hand fingers closed around the soft flesh of her upper thigh.
She nodded just as slowly, lowering her eyes, as if resigned to the invisible cage of our mutual desire.
“Ok, then kiss me…”
I pressed my lips against her mouth and my tongue sneaked out to meet hers in a no-man’s land of shared saliva and burning lust. But then I felt a certain taste that I didn’t recognize, it was on her lips, on her tongue, on her teeth.
I pulled away and looked at her. Here, in this quiet space of flowing words and effortless movement, the taste had been a warning, a clear message from places I couldn’t yet reach.
My thoughts suddenly turned back to the Land Of Many Wonders. I traveled back to the one moment when, staring at a barren cliff made of broken silver stone, I had decided to return to this place, to this city where I now found myself.
I knew then that, notwithstanding any other reasons I may have said to myself in that one moment of cold monumental darkness, the real reason I had returned was here before me, it was sitting across from me on her rumpled bed, wearing only two small pieces of clothing that she was eager for me to remove, looking at me with wide black eyes and wondering why I had stopped kissing her.
I had wanted to return. I had left behind all the many possibilities of that far away land to which I might never return. I had done it all for her, for the dream that was her, for the unresolved story that was her, for the flesh and the bones and the generous open wounds that were her. I had wanted to return so I could hold her and kiss her and penetrate her and dissolve myself in her, for as long as I could imagine doing so.
Now I was doing what I wanted. She was here, she was mine, she was ready to give herself to me in any way I decided. And I suddenly knew that I had made a terrible mistake.
I reached towards her again. I kissed her neck and her cheeks and her collarbone. I told myself that here she was, what I had wanted then, what I had wanted before, what I had always wanted. Here she was. Here it was. I couldn’t have asked for anything more.
But the sudden understanding would not go away. It had come to settle upon me like a big black bird that opens his wings in a clear majestic gesture before coming to rest on the peak of a mountain. It was here within me and it was here to stay.
I eventually kissed her again, and her tongue ran over mine and my own ran deep into her open mouth, licking at her cheeks from the inside, at her teeth, at her thin pale lips. The choice had been made, and the Land Of Many Wonders had vanished behind a veil made of soft white flesh and moist pink desire. It was too late to turn back. It was too soon to move forward. For now I could only love her. For now I could only enjoy all that would soon go away.