Skip Site Menu

Cunobaros

Cunobaros

From all to nothing

A C E G R S T

It's getting dark. I had forgot how long it took for that to happen here in the North, just like I had forgot how swiftly time moves in your company. It's a weird feeling, as if time was passing both quickly and slowly, at the same time. On the other hand, maybe I can blame the wine. I'm not really used to drinking any more, and the first bottle is already emptied, with a second one started. I can't say I feel drunk, but after some bemused consideration I decide it's more likely I'm drunk than that time itself has hiccups.

My train of thought is derailed by you saying something.

"Huh?"

"I asked if I can take one of your cigarettes."

"Oh, sure," I say with a nod to the pack lying beside me on the balcony floor. "Help yourself."

You stretch your leg out and reel the pack in with your toes. I notice you have the tip of your tongue in the corner of your mouth, and smile.

"Thanks." You put a cigarette between your lips and light it, tip your head backwards and blow the smoke out and up. "What were you thinking then, so far away?"

"Just wondering whether I was drunk."

"Of course you're drunk, otherwise there's something wrong with the wine. You might as well make the most of it, now that you're allowed to get drunk. When was the last time?"

"Too long. Years. Can you pass me the cigarettes?"

"Why? You couldn't be bothered to pass them to me."

So you're in a bantering mood? Well, that's quite welcome. I think I need to let go of the sombre facade, and bickering with you, especially when you're in that mood, is a rare pleasure. I get a sudden feeling of deja vu, and remember us sitting like this, drinking, smoking and joking, many years ago. A summer night on a balcony, the night we found out we were friends. And even if the friendship has remained strong all these years, it has become something more. To me, at least. I smile.

"Yeah, but that's because it's my cigarettes, and as you're getting them for free you could make a bit of an effort in return."

"Hey, I'm doing you a favour here. You said yourself you needed some exercise."

"Should I need exercise?" I ask. "When did I say something that stupid?"

"A little while ago, when we were talking about sex, you said that you ought to have sex more often since you needed the exercise."

Ah, right. I did say that. Not remarkable; we often talk about sex. But when I made that comment, I didn't think about having sex in general, but with you, specifically. And as always, you ignored that, just like I know you'll ignore this: "What, here on the balcony?" I take a sip of wine and make a sweeping gesture with the glass.

You snort and roll your eyes. "And who would you have sex with here, do you think?"

"Well," I say and look at your breasts, "I guess I'll have to find someone nearby who looks like a woman. I mean, surely the sex ought to be enough exercise? I shouldn't have to run around and find someone to exercise with."

My reply is automatic. Maybe, I think, you're getting tired of it. You know you attract me. I told you, years ago. And after the initial surprise you've always ignored it. I don't know any more if I want to take you to bed. You once said, I remember, that I didn't want to do, but to have done. Head of the nail.

You snort again. "I shouldn't think so," you say as you toss me the cigarettes.

"Aw, come on! You said you wanted to do me a favour and exercise me." I extract a cigarette and light it. I recall a promise you gave me, without thinking, years ago, a promise I sometimes I sometimes bring up and wave about. "Anyway, you promised I'd get to see you naked sometime, and that ought to be enough to speed up my heart quite a lot."

You give me a look over the rim of your glasses and raise your eyebrows, with your mouth in that sceptical pout of yours, and I do my best impression of a schoolboy caught doing mischief. I stand up to fetch the wine bottle. "But a man can dream, can't he?" I say in my whiniest voice as I fill your glass.

You don't answer, just look straight ahead, out over the lake. I drop the butt of my cigarette in the first, empty wine bottle, and sit down again, careful not to disturb your thoughts with talk.

When you finally speak, you sound more thoughtful than teasing. "But would you?" you ask.

"Would I what?"

You turn to look at me. "If you were allowed to do what you wanted with me, what would you do?"

"Um..." I have trouble reading you now, can't see how serious or silly I should be. Chaotic, confused thoughts prevent me from answering for a long time, but you wait patiently.

"From all to nothing, I reckon," I say. "I honestly don't know, but somewhere in that range."

You have a serious, thoughtful expression, so I light another cigarette and try to consider it calmly. "I mean, it's not just about what I'm allowed to do, is it?"

I give you a pleading look, willing you to read my thoughts, understand what I mean. "Like, if you came with a bowl of candy and said I could eat as much as I like, that's okay, 'cause I don't need to worry about what the candy thinks."

I gesture vaguely with my hands, trying to shape my thoughts. "But even if you gave me permission... if, for some reason, you let me do whatever I wanted, I wouldn't want to do more than you wanted me to do. You know what I mean? Even if I was allowed, it'd be rape if you didn't want me to."

You look at me and nod. I can relax again.

"But", you say with a smile, "it isn't just black and white. There might be things I definitely wouldn't want you to do, and things I would prefer you didn't, and things where I wouldn't care much whether you did or didn't..."

You let that sink in for a while before continuing, with an evil grin, "... and perhaps even things I would really like you to do."

This is safer territory, we're back to the banter. I really like serious conversations with you, but that was too ambiguos. I smile. "Yeah, well, sure. I can see what you mean. I just wonder if I should go and get enginge oil and an inflatable sheep, or if you wanted to do the things that didn't matter before moving on to what you want."

"Okay", you say and draw the word out to show how sceptical you are. "That's strike one you missed, there. Want to try again?"

I empty the wine glass and raise it in greeting. "Just guessing here, and keeping within the bounds of what's reasonably mainstream, I'd guess that a hard fuck up the ass would be at the bottom -" I pause and smile, "no pun intended - of the list, with you stripping off and showing me your body somewhere around the things that wouldn't matter either way, because you've said you wouldn't mind me seeing you naked if I hadn't made such a fuss over it, and..."

I shake my head, speaking slowly. "I... I have no idea what you might want me to do to you. More wine and a hug, perhaps?"

In reply, you empty your glass and stand up, arms stretched out towards me. Dutifully, I fill the glasses, put the bottle down and enter your embrace.

We hold each other in silence. I keep wondering whether there was anything behind your question, but don't know how to decide. Finally, you hug me hard and let go slightly, pull back a bit. I follow suit. I look you in the eyes, and for some reason I get the impression that the hug was some kind of test, but I don't know whether I passed or flunked.

We look deep in each other's eyes and it feels like I'm falling, as if I stand aside and watch. It is like a movie, and just like when you watch a movie and know what will happen, I know that you will tilt your head slightly to the side and I'll bend down. Without any of us taking the first step we will kiss. I know it will happen.

I look into your eyes, sink into them, mesmerized. Without being able to do anything I wait for the movie to roll on, to bring on what must happen. You know it too, know how the script goes, it shows in your eyes.

Now. Now, your eyes close slightly. Now, your head begins to tilt. Now, I feel your body press against mine. Now. Now, I begin to bend down. Now, our lips open. Now. Now I feel your lips against mine, hot, tense, moist.

I open my lips more, feel you follow, tentatively extend the tip of my tongue. Meet yours. Taste you. Play with you. Dance with you.

I hold you harder, press you close, enter you, let you play with my tongue, as I play with yours. You kiss me deeply, take command. Your hands grab my neck and pull me down. Lips to lips, face to face, body to body.

I stop thinking. I kiss you with years of unfulfilled yearning.

I am lost in you. It might have been seconds, hours. But this time, the wine is not to blame. I am consumed by you. As I think that thought, I have a brief vision of your head growing and you literally eating me, the kiss becoming a meal.

As we part our lips at last I smile, at the absurd image and a strange happiness. I kiss your lips, lightly. Don't want to leave them. You loosen your hands, let them fall and take hold of my back.

I open my eyes. You smile, mystically, inscrutably. I become aware of your body again. It's pressing against mine.

I clear my throat. "Wow."

You laugh and raise your eyebrows. "Was it as good for you as it was for me?"

You smile and release my back. I get the hint. Not because I want to, but because you want me to, I release you and take a step backwards.

"Better."

I'm confused. That kiss was... I don't know. Intoxication and accumulated longning, surprise and delight, yeah, but I can't remember a better kiss. I am painfully aware of how much I want you. Now. Feel you, taste and caress your hills and valleys...

And you... if you feel the same you are a better actress than I think, and I know you're good. No, I told the truth. It was better for me than for you. So why? What did it mean to you?

Your eyes reveal nothing apart from amusement. I sigh inwardly, follow your example with platitudes, cliches. You know it was better for me, you can't miss that. And you pretend you don't. So...

"I don't know about you," I say and return to my chair, "but I always want a cigarette afterwards."

I light one and offer the pack to you with raised eyebrows. You stand there - where I kissed you! - and look at me for a while. You come and take the cigarettes with one hand. With the other, you stroke my hair.

"In case you're wondering," you say slowly, "that was something between the things that don't matter and the things I'd want you to do."

You sit down, light a cigarette and look out over the lake while I think about your words. I am grateful you told me, that I won't have to wonder in silence, or ask. But it's not very precise, is it?"

As if you could read my mind you say : "But I'm not saying where, exactly." You flash me a quick smile. "Not right now, at least."

Later, much later, I lie awake on the couch waiting for the room to stop spinning around. My thoughts are spinning too, around you, your body, and your soul. They spin around two very different things - what is, and what could have been.

If I listen closely, I can hear your slow breaths from the bedroom, and in the end that's what lulls me into sleep

Comments

What do you think?
Name (optional)
Email (optional)