Tuesday, August 25, 2015

IN BETWEEN

Agnes lay in her husband's arms, her hair tumbled over her shoulders. She had shut off thought or tried to, to the best of her ability. She wanted to enjoy this moment. The sweaty, lemony, vanilla scent of the body, aftershave and perfume mingled sensuously in her mind. The small made certain nerve ends pop so that while   a sensuousness induced diffuse energies there was , simultaneously,a sharpening of the mind. As her body drooped, relaxing, slackening her mind became alert . Yet , for the moment ,she let the alertness exist in a disembodied space of lassitude. She felt a vague restlessness which her body did not permit her to theorize but whose presence, unarticulated , her mind kept intimating .

She wrapped her fingers around Ed's nipple, stroking, circling the aureole between thumb and forefinger before pinching it. She performed this gesture desultorily, engaged in the mechanism of the gesture while being, at a level, disengaged. Ed's glasses had dropped to his nose. His copy of 'Tropic of cancer' induced no great lubricity. Rather reams of semi philosophical, verbose prose punctuated with earthiness and sexual shenanigans necessitated a concentration he couldn't apply. The prose, registered in a state of semi slumber, with a certain awakened  knowledge of  suggestive phrases ,roiled and churned sluggishly. Both wife and man were alternately restful and  in a state of trance. The imperceptible currents of self consciousness kindled and waned , sparking off an odd intimation here, overpowering with sensual heat there. It was not a state of either denial or a supercharged perceptiveness.They both felt, amid this interstice, agreeably indolent and calm. It seemed as though the tumult, by its very uneventfulness , instituted equilibrium.

Agnes half dozed , half awake placed  her palm on Ed's chest. She fingered the faint white scar there she had scratched violently in her manic phase. They had, she recollected , been making love and she had been writhing and convulsing, possessed of a primal ferocity. She had screamed and scratched and then woken up a day later in a state of calmness, after the lithium. Yet , beyond the definitions of bipolarity she had glimpsed in herself a sexual potentiality, through the mist of heightened sensory perception. It made her both embarrassed yet excited. She stretched her palm over Ed's pectorals , ruefully recalling the change that moment had wrought in their subsequent lovemaking. She became less inhibited, more assertive while Ed seemed content to allow for a space or interlude where he could lie back and be unfettered by the customary sexual role of incessant activity.

Ed's wistful smile mirrored Agnes's. He felt flushed with warmth and love because he had truly discovered his love for Agnes after that momentous manic night. It wasn't her vulnerability or the crippling reality of a mental illness but of how, the experience of descent had strengthened her, deepened her self knowledge. He much liked this complex Agnes who surprised him continually with newer ,undiscovered nuances.Agnes's knowledge of Ed's essential goodness consisted in her peeling off the layers of his integument while Ed's appraisal was like adducing, through discovery, an ever protean Agnes who metamorphosed in accordance with the contingent yet whose own inward probity was unaltered.

Ed stroked Agnes's hair and she mumbled pleasurably. Words were unnecessary because touch indicated a deeper reality where their inner selves entwined and interpenetrated. Both were content with the space they were in. And if Ed sometimes wished he could fuck Agnes's ass or if Agnes fantasized about riding a spreadeagled Ed they knew they would find ways of reconfiguring this unconscious desire. There would be, given the reality they existed within, a brief lapse into terrifying nothingness, of a territory uncharted and dark. But then they would let that dark traverse their inner beings, finding in that labyrinth of interiority a dimension where that which was primal would become relational, where the desire, experienced with such primeval intensity ,would temper its voracity by accepting that it coexisted with the warmth and empathy they roused in each other. At this moment, they were in this in between zone, this coalescence of the corporeal and the incorporeal. No word or act was necessary. There was touch, there was the luminosity of reciprocity and the oasis of self containment, indivisible yet cleaved. It was enough. 

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