Help Me Reach 12 on the Manly Scale of Absolute Gender

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

In Country

I look at the sunlight of a dying day as it flows over his body, it's finely chiseled contours, the little swoop by the sides of his abdomen that hint that there is still muscle beneath the slight layer of softness that age has provided him. I can't bear to look for too long, but instead turn to the side of my bed, and begin brushing my hair. It is long, and still blond enough. I have had long hair for along time, so the even strokes of the brush, slowly easing out the tangles from the sweat soaked afternoon is a ritual, it calms me.

"My husband would kill me if he knew."

I say that to the air.

"But he isn't here."

I brush another long stroke, and then stop. Those hands of his are on my hip, and caressing over the curve of my figure, and then down my thigh, and then back up again. Those hands of his. Those hands that can sew together dying flesh, torn by metal or wood or stone. IT is those hands that I dream of.

"Yes, he's in country. This is the moment that makes me feel guilty, every time."

"So was I. What are you going to do?"

I try and resume the brushing, but my perception's focus is more and more and more and more upon the point of contact of the tips of his fingers on my curve, as the play up my waist, which no longer has the same swoop it did when I was reeally still young, but more than most women, I think, my age can really claim.

"Nothing until I have to, until..."

I roll back over on my back, and stare up into his blue eyes, and the features that are finely etched, but filled with imperfections that prevent it from being gorgeously magnetic. He is still handsome. And for some moment, my man, even if I can't really feel myself to be his woman. Or not completely his woman. I am drawn to wanting to say something affectionate. His hands move down my body and begin wirling in that triangle of curly pubic hair. I did not have a name for that place on my body, until he gave it one. My husband had no sense that I had nerves anyplace, except my lips, nipples and vagina. He taught me how there were nerves, and tissues and a whole connectedness, with that same stroking motion he is using now.

"How did you feel, when you came back, and your wife left you?"

He gazes down into me, and hard into me, and his fingers never stop picking the dried white flecks that are the remains of sex from my hairs.

"Feel? I didn't feel at all."

I breath out slowly and almost manage a sigh. He continues.

"Being there changed me, I expected it."

"Did you know? I mean that she had taken up with someone else? While you are there?"

"I still don't know, you never can."

I pause for a moment.

"You must have felt something."

"Not until I met you. She went off with someone else. Maybe he was more like the man she fell in love with than I am now."

"You've said this before, what do you mean?"

"I am quieter now."

"I like you quiet, sweetie."

He straightens his fingers through my pubic hairs, and without asking or needing to ask, because to move them in a slow spiral on the surface of my outer lips. I can't help not wanting him to, but there is a thrill that rises on my neck, and I want him not to stop, more than anything, I want him to continue, but hold right there, and not use this as a prelude to another round of. Of love making. Yes. That is what it is. I open my lips to say something. I stop. I start on something else. I stop again. He fills the space.

"I used to talk about everything, I had opinions about life, art, politics, the world. I don't now."

"I like you quiet."

"That's because that is what you need, a man who is quiet so you can only half fall in love."

That stings, I start a third time to say something, this time more bitter than the last. I stop again, and then start a fourth thing.

"But I have. Just not with you. With... with this. With us. I'm in love with us. Which is why I don't want us to end."

There is a rustle as his hand moves. He lowers himself down as if doing a push up, kisses my neck, suspended above me, not touching me except at the point, and then lifting himself away.

"One of the us is going to end very soon."

"No, he is stuck there."

"I'm going back there. And that will mean you will find someone else."

That stings again, but even as my intestines churn with the nausea of self-realization that I need a warmth beside me, and within me, or I will curl up and vomit until I feel like dying, talks in the back of my mind, I deny it. In that moment, I decide to deny it, and make one of those promises that is only true going forward. I feel a hardness sweep first inside of me, and then become a tautness over my chest and breasts and down my legs.

"I'm not going to do that."

My chin bends inwards as a way of emphasizing the earnestness of the statement, and I look back up into those eyes with a challenge.

"So what are you going to do, delay with both of us until we both come home?"

"Half of me wants one of you to just shoot the other."

"It will have to be him, I've had my fill of blood and killing for any reason other than pure necessity."

I start to turn away again, but his hands are upon the curve of my hips, he presses them down to the bed, and places his lips on the outside of my sex. What follows is pure pornographic moment, I can't describe it, or, I don't have the courage to describe it. What I feel is dirty, shameful and as addictive as anything I've ever known.

I gasp, because, not because I feel it, but because I want to tell him not to stop, and I can't wrap my lips around the words. He spends long minutes praying at the temple of my body. I forget the motions and precisely what he does, and even my gaze losses focus. I don't want to remember, and I try not to think about my husband or what this means.

"I want you then."

He pulls himself up again, and is again suspended over me, close enough that the radiant heat still comes off of him to me. He stares up along my geography, I look down. I stare down. I cry.

The tears force my eyes to close and I am sobbing.

"Why did this have to happen to us? Why this war, now, to us?"

"Which us? I don't think your marriage was going to live. How you put up with his affairs I don't know."

"He needed them, and I needed him."

He shakes his head.

"You needed him, so he could have them."

I open my eyes again, I take aggressive action and slide myself back down under him, my legs dangling down the foot of the bed.

"Don't go back there."

"I made a promise, even if Americans can't keep theirs to me, I have to keep mine to them."

"I'm breaking a promise by being with you."

"It was a promise that was already broken. You want the name of his woman in the Green Zone? I can give it to you. Doctors know everything."

I pause and stare up in earnest.

"Like what."

He runs his hand around a hard roundness on my tummy.

"She's pregnant, and so are you."

Signed -- Liberty

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We'll try dumping haloscan and see how it works.