I’m a big fan of lists. If I walk into a grocery store having forgotten my itinerary I’ll walk back out rather than veer through aisles making random purchases egged on, as I know I would be, by my hungrier, needier doppelgänger.
So, when I was ready to open my heart again after having it vulned and fed to the alligators, I wrote down a litany of qualities I hoped to find in a man. I’m genetically programmed to fall for the Catholic kings of heartbreak, preferably of a womanizing dipso bent with a feast of foibles to bring to the table. When compiling my New Man catalog, I included only the word Catholic with an addendum of positive qualities and found my Mr. Right in hound’s-tooth armor.
Never mind how we met; it would sound ridiculously old-fashioned in this age of click and paste, speed dating bump ‘n grind internet culture.
What matters is, we’re still together, against all odds. My boyfriend is an academic whereas I was never college material. Declan speaks to his parents and siblings every day; my family is dysfunctional to the point of not functioning.
In what has to date been our only major argument, I said to my better educated half, “You’re just looking for an erotic Eliza Doolittle. Wantin’ me to talk like a lady when I was raised to be a tramp.”
“What is life but a series of inspired follies?” Dec replied, quoting Eliza’s tutor Higgins. “And if this is folly, I pray to all the powers that be I may never know good sense.”
“Darn! I’m a bad girl, I am. Want a blow job?”
Last year, Declan had an opportunity to teach a course in Dublin and he was gone for six months. I missed him so much there were days when I sat listlessly staring at his photo in my wallet or stood swooning over the smell of his clothes in our walk-in closet.
Had there been a prayer rug nearby I would have gladly kneeled offering matinal devotions for my lover’s return. I couldn’t help myself. I had a man who made me feel like a Catholic schoolgirl again, the naughty kind with nascent breasts frothing out of bikini tops and the bling of a medallion burning duff in the shade, all that lush life lurking just beneath the scratchy surface of a polyester uniform.
The night before my life would resume its full shape I talked with my sweetheart and asked him to indulge a fantasy.
He chuckled in his good-natured Hibernian way when I told him I wanted to be tied up and taken like a streel from the stews, but, as ever, he was amenable to my wants.
Keeping in mind the old saying A man eats first with his eyes, I answered the door naked wearing only my favorite perfume and a pair of patent leather stilettos.
My boyfriend scooped me into his arms and kissed me for the length of Ulysses until I led him into our bedroom where a thin band of leather made a cheerful mustachio on our coverlet.
“You sure you trust me enough, love? I mean, think about it. Once you’re bound, I could swipe your only first edition and pawn it for a pint of Guinness. Blokes have done worse.”
Placing the leather in my lover’s warm hand, I said, “I can’t imagine being fettered by anyone but you. You’re the most trustworthy man I’ve ever met. Go on: manacle me.”
What I didn’t say and didn’t need to say was: I’m yours and want to prove myself to be unequivocally yours for after you there can be no other. I am your pupil in the classroom of love. Teach me to give you everything I have, everything I can be. I live in the lee of your embrace.
Once bound, I knelt before him like a supplicant and took his erect penis into my mouth, ignoring the loose cannons of moisture already coursing down my inner thighs. My scalp tingled as Dec worked his fingers through my long blond hair, my tongue blithely gliding from pillar to post. I wanted so badly to touch my aching mound but of course I couldn’t; my body was all sensation now, every particle of sentience drawing its momentum from the burgeoning cynosure between my lips.
I heard a gentle voice speaking from a great precipice of desire.
“Claire. Let’s make love.”
Not yet was my silent plaint as my tongue churned greedily over its favorite sustenance.
Imagine being forced to live on broth and barleycorn for six months when suddenly your taste buds are up against filet mignon. Wouldn’t you devour it? (I could never be a vegetarian.)
There can be grace with a lack of mobility if you picture your lover’s cock as the ballast from which you choose to balance an important part of your identity. You can make your mouth fluid giving a penis the ride of its life or affix your lips like a flange to the base, strengthening and holding the shaft in place until it’s the most secure object for miles around.
“For the love of God, Claire.”
That’s what Dec always says when my fellatio has brought him to a breaking point and he wants more than anything to make love.
“Okay,” I said. “But the leather stays.”
Declan gently pushed me down on the bed. He ran his fingers through my hair again and kissed me. After caressing my neck, shoulders, breasts and belly, he cupped my mound and teased some fluid away from my clit.
“You’re so wet,” he moaned into my ear and I felt another surge of wetness as his bulk shifted and covered me like a tent. My wrists still trapped like the useless pinions of a flightless bird, I let my body relax and give sway to the natural course of love. Dec lifted my legs and maneuvered them like levers until his cock gained purchase and then he was inside me, filling the hollow created by so many lonely nights, casting my ingot with his gold.
Moist as I was, each thrust was ingress into an unchartered territory of pleasure. I had never been so aware of his cock, not being able to touch skin anywhere. We were simply one rocking motion with his erection acting as fulcrum.
“Oh, baby.” He kept calling me that over and over. I love it when my man calls me baby. Especially while in the throes of passion.
We came together in a ripsnorting heap and he held me in his arms for a long time afterward. He cradled my head against his chest and the sound of his heartbeat pulled me into a meditative lull of contentment.
I got up to dress but realized I needed a little assistance.
“Ahem. You can unfetter me now, sweetness. Fantasy fulfilled!”
Declan leaned back on the bed crossing his forearms behind his head of nicely trimmed black hair. He was so handsome! Just looking at him is a wish granted.
“You know what they say: Power corrupts. If I untie you, what are you going to give me?”
“I thought we’d walk down Columbus and go to that poetry bookstore. After that, I’ll treat you to a coffee at that gloomy café with all the Bukowski wannabes.”
Dec arched a brow as if to say That’s it?
“Okay, books, coffee and bj redux.”
“Now you’re talking. I’m a lucky man, Claire,” Dec said as he kissed my neck and liberated my wrists.
Luck has little to do with love, I thought, as we made our way down the steps of our cozy North Beach home. It’s all a matter of how much you’re willing to give.