Another Way of Looking at Flesh
She looks down at her book; the movement of the train is making the words jolt sideways in a hypnotic dance. She likes it, it stops her thinking and the book is just a prop anyhow. It’s the last train to her apartment, the latest she can take and she has chosen it especially. The carriage is empty, this is the hollowness she seeks, the roar of the train as it rushes down the tunnel, like blood through a vein, life, time, the future moving forward. This is the obliteration she needs in this moment. She looks down at her hands. One rests palm up between the pages, along the spine of the cheap paperback. The other, fingers curled, holds open the page. An hour ago these fingers were inside a man trying to stem an internal hemorrhage, a calculated gamble her other colleagues had refused. The gamble had failed. The patient had died before gaining consciousness.
The train pulls into a station. The windows flashing past the platform make a strip cartoon. She sees a young man in one of the frames and she knows he will get into her carriage. She knows this because she has willed it. The surgeon is omnipresent and omnipotent she tells herself. But inside her skin she feels small, she needs touch, she needs a certain violence to lose herself, to lose the memory of the operating table. Of the life she failed to save. This is her pattern, her salvation—her penance. It is what she does on these occasions.
Now he is sitting opposite and although she is yet to glance over she can feel the heat of his gaze. The sensation she seeks already drumming at the base of her spine, a kernel of pleasure sending tendrils of warmth through her sex, moistening in anticipation. Slowly she looks up. He is young, about twenty to her forty-five. Tall and slender, he is wearing tight black jeans and a deep blue jacket with a sheepskin lined hood, his leather rucksack down by his feet. His hands, which are large, are folded over his lap. The fingers are long and elegant, big-knuckled they look like hands that are used to making things, to crafting, to pulling shape from nothing. She finds this instantly erotic. Mixed–race, his skin is a pale coffee-colour, and when her eyes reach his she is startled to see that his pupils are a deep blue, the bridge of his nose peppered with freckles, his lips full, at the touch of her gaze they form a wry smile that promises an intelligent sensuality.
The train rushes into another tunnel and their faces are momentarily striped by shadow/light/shadow. By the time the train has emerged he has moved to her side somehow, silently like a cat or a ghost. She knows she should have fear, but she doesn’t, or if she does, she has channelled it into the thudding excitement, now irretrievably part of the roar of the train, her heartbeat pounding in her ear, a dry exhilaration at the back of the throat. She leans forward and lifts a finger to trace it across his lips. "Say nothing."
In lieu of an answer, he takes her finger into his mouth, his tongue encircling the tip. The sensation makes her wet through her tights. She glances back down the empty seats; they are still the only people in the carriage, perhaps the whole train. Such power she thinks, such utter power.
The train pulls into the next station, he follows her as they step off. The platform is deserted, winter encapsulating the station in a chilly hazy mist.
A waiting room is a yellow-lit oasis, the red leather seats yawn lazily against the walls. In the corner a wall-light blinks in a stuttering loneliness.
It is where they will fuck, she has decided, in this public place, in place where so many have waited, walked through, moved through that damp, shifting air, existing mindlessly in time from one destination to another. This is where she will claim the moment, her body, her flesh and her own fallible mortality.
They stand in middle of the waiting room. In this roaring silence they have now established between them, he slowly unbuttons her coat then kneels before her. She watches the blurred reflection of the two of them in the grimy window: a man kneeling before a woman, not young not old. Like he is paying a strange homage, a genuflection of a kind.
He runs his hands up her skirt then, in a swift tug, pulls her tights and pants down to her ankles. The air is cold on her naked thighs. He looks up at her, those blue eyes burning coals and he smiles. Then watching her face, he slips his fingers into the thick pubic hair, finding her, teasing her, the hardening button, playing her. She has to steady herself against the wall. The pleasure laps like a wave, pulsating, with each touch she is left wanting more. She weaves her fingers into his tightly curled hair and finally he buries his face between her parted legs. Pulling her sex to him, his lips and tongue finding her swollen clit his hands cupping her arse, he takes her fully into his mouth. The heat, the pleasure making time, past, present and future dissolve. She is now one with her flesh and the external world. All thought, the perimeters of her body, dissolving like a mist. For her this is a kind of religion, a transcendental state of being. It is the only way she can forget.
He sucks harder and her legs start to quiver with pleasure, she is close to coming but she wants him inside her, this beautiful stranger. She wants their lovemaking to make a mark against the banality of Time, of opportunities lost, of lives cut short, this transgressive act in the most ordinary of places. But most of all she wants to see him; his cock, his lust for her.
She pulls him to his feet and, after unzipping his fly, frees his heavy penis. He is large and uncut, and his cock has the beauty of all that makes a man. Yet with this she knows he will unmake her. Exorcise all in his penetration. Her touch makes him groan, the first audible sound he has made. She likes it, she wants to hear him whimper. She masturbates him; pulling the glistening foreskin to and fro, shiny with rigidity, his hardness excites her. It is testimony to her power, her control over him. Drawing him closer, she climbs up on top of one of the leather seats and mounts him. And oh, the pleasure, the gasping of her as he pushes into her the feel of him filling her entirely. They are animal, the beast with two backs as she curls her legs around his hips and he takes her against the wall, now pounding deeper and deeper, her nails clawing his back, the whole of her narrowing into this pivot, this point of blinding pleasure where he has entered her. Faster and faster, the sound of their moaning echoes around the empty waiting room, scattering residual ghosts, in the corner a mouse emerges then startled rushes back under the seating, outside a goods train roars through the station unnoticed; above them, a Daddy Long Legs clambers up his web.
She is close to coming and he senses it. Slowing down, he teases her, running the glistening thick knob over her swollen clit, her legs hoisted high over each of his muscular arms. Then when he feels the first of her contractions he increases his pace with a delicious violence until both of them are screaming in pleasure.
Afterwards, she extracts herself and after rearranging her clothes in a neat staccato, she steps over his collapsed spent body. They will never see each other again.
"I thought you’d be late," her husband stands by the front door of their apartment, already in his pyjamas, his grey hair mussed; his eyes bleary from sleep.
"But I’m back." She moves to push past him but he grabs her hand. Pulling her toward him, he manages to plant a kiss on her freezing cheek, still wet from the rain outside. As he does he notices a love bite mark on her neck, a ladder in her tights, the way her coat is buttoned up wrong. And he knows.
"You lost someone today?" He asks carefully.
"Gunshot victim, I did everything I could but sometimes…"
But he’s folding her into his arms, and she surrenders.
"I run a bath, then make you a cup of hot chocolate," he murmurs into her hair.
31/8/17 copyright T.Learner
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