I indulge in this ritual before I come see you, did you know that? Always—well, every time, so far—I don’t know if it’s something I’ll always do it. But it is the thing I do, for now.
Bath, of course. You are particular, and you like me clean—and you hate it when I smell of other lovers—but even when I don’t have another’s scent to rub off me, I sink into the bath and scrub myself clean.
Shave your favourite parts. You do know, do you not, that my cunt lips, legs, they are naked for you? My Self does not care about them so much (the armpits, I’ll grant you, I shave for myself—I have not been able to shake that conditioning… and I like yours shaved too. So. There, we please ourselves and the other.)
Wash my ass. Perhaps you will want to play with it. Or, destroy it. You often do. Clean, clean, clean.
Also—calm, calm, calm. You terrify and excite me—you still fill with so much anxiety—and the bath calms me. Do you know, how much you terrify me, still?
Calm, clean, I dry myself meticulously—sometimes imagine it is you doing the drying… will you ever do that for me? Do you know this is something I want? A bath, a shower with you, and then, your hands on me separated by the cloth, rubbing the drops off water off my aching skin?
You probably don’t: I haven’t told you, I will never tell you. I don’t want to tell you things.
Calm, clean, dry—and now. Lotion. I choose the lotions carefully. This one smells of coffee and coconut and it inflames me. As I put it on, I can almost feel your hands gliding on my body, here, there. Will I stay this slick long enough for you to feel it—for me to feel you feeling my slickness?
I slip the lotion into my bag. I will put it on again when you strip me naked. Will you like that? Watching me glide it on myself? Or, will you do it for me? I would like that, as much as I would like you to towel me dry.
I should tell you, the things that I like. But I don’t. I won’t.
I dress slowly—need to stay calm. I dress, now, into clothes that are easy to take off. You don’t care about pretty things, enhancements, flirty lingerie. You like a single-piece dress, easy to pull off, no buttons—although sometimes, a zipper pleases you. Sometimes, you say, “Take off your clothes,” before I’m through the door.
Sometimes, I like that. Sometimes, I would like to dress up for you.
Dressed, but not dressed up, I start the walk to your house. I’m glad you live not so far—I need to stay calm—I am becoming terrified already—breathe, calm, why are you so…
I stay calm until I reach your wood-chip lined driveway. The wood chips crunch under my feet, and I start to shake.
What will happen today?
Will you love me today?
Will you destroy me today?
I stand at the front door, the ritual that’s supposed to calm me undone.
You open the door before I ring the doorbell. I am uncollected. White. Shaking.
“You know what I have been thinking?” you say, pulling me into your arms. “I should get you some pills. Valium? Prozac? So that you’re calm. This moment, only this moment, when you cross my threshold. I want you calm when you come. Because then… destroying you and terrifying you is so much more fun.”
“Don’t say it,” you close my lips with a kiss. “I like the terror too. Now, take off your clothes.”
I want to ask you about the lotion. If you like the smell of it. If I should put it on.
There isn’t time.
For Nicole: Cardamom Knob Wool
For Jenn: Piano River Feather
For Lara: Peasant Cicada Pomegranate
For Paola: Stoked Sunrise Ferocity
For Nina: Crimson Brilliant Moon
For Cathy: Elated Chocolate Tears
For Lisa: Collar Forgiveness Wind
For Leslie: Train Clouds Mountain
For Grazyna: Anticipation Disappointment Hope
For Tet: Pills Chips Lotion
OH. by the way…
… you should come.