Narrowest

Narrowest

I was on my back.

His head moved away, downward,

clearing my line of sight;

I looked with wonder-

more of disbelief-

at a leaf held by the ceiling.

I felt him dig,

“Are you inserting yourself?”

“Just the finger. Look.”

******

The wheels of my shopping cart made irritable whirring sounds; it was empty. I pulled it down the aisles of the super market that was scantily crowded as it was a week day- something I had planned. I was very close to the rack. All those previous visits it had never occurred to me what those colourful bottles had been sitting there for, right next to stacks of condom packs.

We had been tight on time- he had an audition to get to, I had some writing to submit. Sex was equivocally off the table. Off the bed. Yet he moved thoroughly over me. My pants were off but he had his on. I consider taking each other’s clothes off, a part of the move so it was unto me to unzip him.

This aisle, however wasn’t as scanty as I’d have liked. To add to my discomfort, only men could be seen both up and down this section. Heavy breaths and pretend-shopping later, I went back over to the rack. I had come thus far. Having had the most hurting experience at getting finger-fucked, I knew now the dire importance of wet.

The lube is not advertised, and it is not even called ‘lube’ on the face of its own bottle. A little read-through tells you that it’s instead a ‘massager’. This was weeks before I found out these can be bought online in India too and months before a website in the country was taken to court for selling anal lube and other sex tools. I had been living with my parents, which made the newfound information as reassuring as a used condom, for obviously, there remained no chance of availing the service.

The rack had exactly two types of lube from the same brand placed by a variety of condoms made by different brands. Lubes are expensive- the fat bottle and the thin bottle, both. And if this isn’t discouraging of the purchase, the thin bottle (which is not as expensive and volumed as the fat one) stood boxed inside a locked plastic container, the first of its kind, exclusively designed for such products by this franchise of supermarket. I picked it up anyway and tried to absorb the written-instructions in my apprehensive state of mind. Did I need to give in to this self-induced cautiousness in my head? I would later find out that my little cousin brother, whose car I had borrowed to get there (not that he would have minded it), and I were at the supermarket, “shopping” at the same time. The container made it difficult for me to find out the exact price of the lube that was printed at the bottom of the bottle. I looked around and saw an attendant… a male attendant, not very far away. Feigning confidence, I asked him why the bottle was inside an additional cover. All he had to say was that the bottle could be taken out only at the time of billing at the cash counter.

I was on my back.

His head moved away, downward,

clearing my line of sight;

I looked with wonder-

more of disbelief-

at a leaf held by the ceiling.

I felt him dig,

“Are you inserting yourself?”

“Just the finger. Look.”

My wince wasn’t abject

as the ripping took effect.

“it’s like a dive

into a shallow water”

I told my self.

The screech took its time

Before it could core.

First the second,

then the forth

and the sixth

time of what is called

a pounding.

“That’s all I can take”

a white lie be told-

Not so true as fake.

Although it was terribly uncomfortable where his finger lay, I didn’t mind his penis to my stomach. It is, in fact, my pierced bellybutton that has been met with some hesitation, every now and then. A neem tree rustled from the slow winds, outside his window. I caught a whiff of its bitter-dank fragrance. My fingers caught him in new vigour, my hand to his bank. Snugly, he put his hand around mine, around him. On a different day I may have thought of this a weakness, but evidently, I’m a lot more open now and accept that we always have something new to learn. And to teach. And to remember the time when at drawing classes my free-hand concentric circles always touched, and that would entail a lot of erasing and re-drawing mess. This gratitude, I let him know: I palm-pressed his balls.

I went to the rack a second time because I talked new confidence into me. Earlier, I had budged and turned away from the aisle what with the plastic container for an anti-theft, lame-ass measure. But wait a minute! An important detail almost escaped me: the expiry date. Lubes must retire. It was a lot easier to pick up the bottle this time, mostly because there really wasn’t anybody around but a female attendant. Full advantage at hand, I asked her to read it for me; in retrospect though, I really asked her for it just so I wouldn’t be alone bearing this supposed embarrassment.

“May, 2015” she said. “Thanks” I nodded. The moment turned into a peculiar kind of sadness that plagued my mind from deep inside. In a matter of seconds I thought long and hard, and practically, and realised there was no narrowest chance I’d get together sexually with anybody within four months. I kept the lube back.