Already Lost
 by Lenora Massey

     I liked this woman. Oh yeah, I liked her, a lot. She had a kind of throaty laugh. Not unlike Nikki?s had been. Although she was different from her in a lot of ways, being around her was like being with Nik once again. She was easy to talk to. Bright, intelligent, funny and seemingly sensitive.

    Perhaps it was too soon to tell, but I was beginning to think that fate, in an uncharacteristic flush of generosity, was giving me a second chance at happiness. Even though it had only been a 90 minute talk, it had seemed that an eternity had past.

    At the start of the evening, the undercurrent of sexual tension made me a little nervous. I had not been to bed with anyone that really mattered in my heart for the past fourteen years. Not since I was a baby. Not since I had become a woman. I now knew I wanted this woman more than I had ever wanted anyone before.

    Suddenly it occurred to me. Maybe I had done a mad, stupid thing in hiding myself under a cloak of straightness for so long. Of course during the first few of those years, I had been married and had felt compelled to remain faithful to him, despite my frustration. No matter the fact that a separation and then a divorce was completely in the works, and even though he had not felt forced, in any way, by any similar moral sense.

    Later, with my parents getting older, a job that required being a very public person and then with young children to raise, there did not seem to be any room, nor was I in any mood for romance. Besides, coming out of the closet at that point, would have shocked and disappointed so many people, destroyed the dreams of even others and brought a lot of friendships, I cherished, to their demise. Now, here I was feeling like an inexperienced child. I wonder if I would even know what to do if I found myself suddenly faced with the object of my desire.

    What if we were a just a juxtaposition of each other. What if she was to reach out and actually touch me and I had to smell the silkiness of her long beautiful hair, feel the warmth of her breath upon me, the touch of her skin against mine or the softness of her lips reaching, searching, probing.

    I was so afraid that I would be inept, clumsy, ridiculous, foolish in bed. I kept telling myself that sex was just like riding a bicycle, totally impossible to unlearn. Yet, the frivolousness of that analogy did not seem to increase my self-confidence at all. But, inside me, I knew, with her, as we would gradually go through the standard rites of courtship, the indirect sexual thrusts and parries of a budding relationship, albeit at an accelerated pace, the familiarity of the games would reassure me. Amazing, maybe I can believe it is a little like riding a bicycle.

    I started imagining the two of us together. We would come upon each other quite by chance. We would talk and then go off for dinner as if we were old friends. After dinner, we would adjourn to the den, where we would build a welcome fire. I would kick off my shoes and we would sit side by side on the sofa in front of the fireplace, watching the flames and the occasional bursts of orange sparks.

    We would listen to Tracy Chapman cds and not talk. You see, with her there is no need for conversation. On the other hand, we would talk and talk. I feel as though we had talked, without pause, all evening, speaking with a quiet urgency, as if we both had vast quantities of earthshakingly important information that we must pass on to the other before parting. The more we didn't talk, the more we found we had in common.

    As an hour would pass in front of the fire, and then another hour, I will discover that I like this woman more with each new thing I realized and discovered about her. I discovered she was, but a mere extension of myself. Two bodies, one mind sharing the dignities and indiscretions of the other.

    I am not sure who will initiate that first kiss. It may me that leans towards her, or perhaps she will tilt toward me. But before I will realize what is happening, our lips will meet softly, briefly. Then again, and a third time. And then she will begin planting small kisses on my forehead, on my eyes, on my cheeks, my nose, the corners of my mouth, my chin. She kisses my ears, my eyes, again and leaves a chain of kisses along my neck. When at last she returns to my mouth and kisses me again once more, even deeper than before, I will respond at once, opening my mouth, my heart to the gift, to her.

    Her hands move over me, testing the firmness and resilience of my body and I touch her too. Gently, squeezing her shoulders, her arms, the nape of her neck, the soft skin of her back. Nothing has ever felt better to me, than she feels at that moment. I will be without thought, without a concept of space or time, floating outside of my body watching a scene I know exists only in a dream.

    As if drifting in a dream, we leave the den and go into the bedroom. She switches on a small lamp that stands upon the dresser. It is as if she can sense the insecurities I hold about my body. She shades the light with an amber cloth and then she turns down the sheets. She sprinkles a scented powder on them and lets the room fill with the smell of autumn rain.

    During the minute she is away from me, I am afraid the spell will be broken. But when she returns, I kiss her tentatively and find that nothing has changed. I press myself against her once more. I feel as if the two of us have been here, like this, locked in an embrace, many, many times before.

    We hardly know each other, I say.
    Is that the way you really feel
    Me, neither.
    I know you so well.
    For ages.
    Yet it has only been a few days.
    Too fast
    What do you think
    Not too fast for me.
    Not too fast at all, I agree.
    You are lovely.
    Love me.

    I am not a particularly large woman, but a large woman none-the-less. Yet, she picks me up with ease, in her arms, as if I am a child.

    I cling to her. I see a longing and a need in her eyes, a seemingly powerful wanting that is only partly sex, and I know the same need. That need!!! The need to be loved, valued and revered. It must be in my eyes, there for her to see.

    She carries me to the bed and puts me down. She urges me to lie back. Without haste, with a breathless anticipation that lights up her face, she undresses me.

    She quickly strips off her own clothes and joins me on the bed, taking me in her arms.

    She explores every part of my body slowly, deliberately, first with her eyes, then her hands and then with her tongue. She leaves no part of me untouched or without her mark upon it.

    I realize that I have been wrong to think that celibacy or camouflaging who I was would change what I feel. Just the opposite was true. Good healthy lovemaking, to a kind sweet woman who cares for me, would have helped me to recover my hurts and find my identity much faster than I had done. My need for a woman in my life was my strongest desire. For sex is the antithesis of death, a joyous celebration of life, a denial of the tomb?s existence.

    The amber light molds to her body.
    She lowers her face to mine. We kiss.
    I slide a hand between us squeezing and stroking her.
    I felt wanton, shameless, insatiable.
    I let my hands travel over her body, along her meaty flanks.

    She leans over me taking one of my nipples into her mouth, sucking on it ever so gently and letting her tongue roll around the rough surface of it.

    I gasp in pleasure, feeling for sure I will lose my mind. I feel myself go wet, feel my juices slide down my legs and smell that familiar faintly musty smell of my animal instincts. I withdraw my nipple from her lips, watching it glisten with the moisture of her mouth, rock-hard and arrogant. Feeling the blood pulse hard and fast through it.

    I climb atop her, straddling her with my smooth black skin. Sliding down her body until I feel my breasts press against hers, loving the contrast of her creamy milk colored skin against mine. I have never looked so dark as I do now, atop her, by comparison.

    She reaches out and takes my hands and spread my arms far apart, as if we are two birds compacted, ready to take flight while making love. I feel those arms envelope me and I lose myself in my desire for her love. Suddenly, I feel her tongue inside me. I moan in pleasure with so much force, it is almost painful. I wonder how she has gotten on top of me, while I had not noticed. Whilst, I was basking in the glory of her presence, she was taking advantage of my weakness and my body. "You taste so sweet," she says.

    Then she begins the age old rhythm of love, a ritual that has existed as long as time itself.

    For a long, long time, we forget that life and death exist, and explore the delicious silken surfaces of love, and it seems to us, in those shining hours, that we will both live forever and no harm will ever come to us and our world. I know I seem anxious. I only hope that she is not aware of my anxiety.

    What's wrong, she asks.
    We need to be on the offensive, I reply.
    I've got to end things, before I start things.
    Dont say that, now, I say.
    But its true.
    Dont tempt fate, is my reply.
    We are strong together, nothings stronger, you say.
    Dont, I insist, putting a hand to her lips to silence her.
    Please, I...I cant bear losing you,.
    You wont lose me, she replies.

    But when I look at her, I have the terrible distinct feeling that she is already lost, that she is very near certainly gone to me, inevitably bemused.


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