Their conversation was natural and casual. She told him a little about her job and why she was in D.C. The day had been long and the meeting had been intense and exhausting, but they had accomplished much. She thought they would be able to finish by mid or late afternoon on Friday, at which point she would decide whether or not to head back to Richmond. She didn’t need to get back right away, and the thought of three hour drive after another stressful and draining day was not very appealing.
He told her that he had an apartment within walking distance, and that he frequented Maddy’s at least once a week. He spent more time at The Meeting Place, a coffee shop down the street. Most often, he spent his evenings alone.
He was an English professor. He had relocated to the Northern Virginia area about 10 years ago, had left for a couple of years, but had just returned to D.C. to take a teaching position at American University. He was passionate about education, and couldn’t imagine doing anything else. He had explored other opportunities, but he decided he would keep teaching as long as he enjoyed it, and maybe, eventually transitioning to teaching part-time to spend more time writing.
She had lived in Richmond about 10 years; it was now home, but not quite. She didn’t elaborate too much on where she was from or the path she had traveled.
She had a daughter middle school and son in elementary school. In the last few years, life had a different feel. There seemed to be more time for her, fewer obligations, at least with family. She had her friends and different things she liked to do, the gym … the weekly güvenilir canlı bahis siteleri book club. She was active, exercising daily, whether it be running or working out.
He told her of his love for the outdoors, and his passion for cycling. He didn’t like groups, enjoying more the solitude of a long, lonely ride. Hiking, camping, and riding all allowed him to indulge his reclusive tendencies, alone with his thoughts and the experience of the moment. This isolation and aloneness were necessary to both his mental and emotional well-being. It allowed him to explore and reflect upon his deepest aspect of his true self.
But, he liked to spend time at Maddy’s and a few local coffee shops, and other places with people. He was able to connect with others, but still at a distance, observing and listening to those around him without having to get too close.
He too was a voracious reader with eclectic tastes, consuming everything … fiction, news, political ideology, history, philosophy, theology … erotica.
“What are you reading now? You seemed enthralled by it.”
“Delta of Venus by Anais Nin.
“Don’t know it, or her? Or him?
“Anais Nin was probably the first female writer of erotica, in Paris in the late 30’s and 40’s. She had an affair with Henry Miller, and possibly his wife June Miller. They were all part of the Bohemian scene. Miller, Nin and a few others wrote erotica for a guy they referred to as “The Collector” for a dollar a page. She later moved to America where she married another man, while still married to her husband. One was on the East coast, güvenilir illegal bahis siteleri the other on the West.
“Anyway, in her erotica and diaries she explored female sexuality, and a few other taboo topics. She’s kind of revered by modern feminists who see her as a woman who was in control, relationally … sexually.”
“Here,” he said, opening his Kindle. I had just read this when I heard you say ‘Shit,’ twice I think.
She smiled, only slightly embarrassed.
‘When she closed her eyes she felt he had many hands, which touched her everywhere, and many mouths, which passed so swiftly over her, and with a wolf-like sharpness, his teeth sank into her fleshiest parts. Naked now, he lay his full length over her. She enjoyed his weight on her, enjoyed being crushed under his body. She wanted him soldered to her, from mouth to feet. Shivers passed through her body.’
“It’s more than who’s on top. She’s in control, of at least her situation.”
He didn’t respond to her question. He stared into her eyes, leaning forward slightly. The moment was tense, and passionate. She thought she might be blushing. She tilted her head and asked, playfully, “What’s a high school English teacher doing reading erotica. You’re not looking for a new novel to teach? I’m sure it’s on the some banned list somewhere.”
Smiling and moving a bit closer, he continued, “Nin provokes us to challenge the morals and norms that confine us, repress our true nature. She demands that we reject society’s notion of acceptable sexuality. She refused to allow expectations to define her.
“Most güvenilir bahis şirketleri people live in a perpetual state of fear, primarily, we are scared, no terrified that we are going to die, without ever having lived and done the things we most want to do.”
Slightly turning her head she asked, “So, like writing an … erotic bucket list of sorts?
“Much more. Nin also wrote, ‘Those who live deeply have no fear of death.’ Only when we allow our passions, desires, needs … lust to consume us, will we be free from all that restricts and oppresses us. Only then are we free to live the life we have imagined.”
Again, he stopped abruptly, looking into her eyes. He was enjoying the silence, and that she was clearly, at least mildly, uncomfortable.
She pulled back, but only slightly, for she had felt herself leaning toward him too. She thought quickly thought of Ron, her husband. They had met and dated during college, and then married. They had kids, worked on their careers, and done everything they were supposed to do. Along the way, almost from the beginning, they drifted apart, finding different interests, living separate lives. Now the kids were growing up and finding their own interests. At times, she would sigh deeply at the thought of being alone with him in the house, sometimes, unaware that he was in the room. He would ask, “What’s wrong,” and she would smile and say, “Oh, nothing.”
She sighed, and briefly looked off into the distance, but then back at Asa.
Then again, she looked away, reaching over and picking up her glass of wine … her third. She took a sip and placed it back on the bar. She looked back at him, deeper into his eyes.
His left hand was on her thigh. He looked slightly down, and without asking, reached over and took her hand, softly rubbing the top with his thumb. Then, lifting his head and he asked, “How deeply are you living.”
To be continued …