Thursday, March 21, 2013

Insomniac, Part 22

Elsa sometimes wondered if she'd die with a dildo in her hand. What difference would it make? She had no children to embarrass. Even if she did, it would be good for them to know that sensuality existed beyond the age of twenty-nine. She lay dozing under her sheets. They were nice sheets, were cool on her skin. Long ago, Elsa had decided that she didn't have to be extravagant to own a few really nice things that were worth having. She let her mind wander over those nice things, a leather couch, nice sheets, a good sound system, a Kitchen Aid mixer, and a peppy car that would run forever. She didn't want things people would notice, just things that would make her life a little bit nicer, like the sweet little dildo.

She wasn't sleepy, not really. She thought that there had to be a connection between sex and spirituality. She was sure of it. When she did it right, with people who cared, or by herself and with compassion, it was clean and pure and intense.

She got up and walked toward her bathroom. The cat was waiting on the other side of her bedroom door. His interest was unnerving, so she'd learned to close the door. He was as interested in this as he was in the breeze from an open window. He tried to come into the bathroom with her. What difference was there now? There was nothing left to watch.

She looked in the bathroom mirror and ignored imperfections. That was just what the magazines and television wanted you to believe. She didn't look bad for a woman her age. She wished she could hold onto that impression. Women were so bombarded with images of 'perfection' and talk of fixing themselves, that they could no longer see the range of beauty in their bodies.

Why was it that people had to hide this part of their lives so thoroughly. People didn't see her as a sexual being. She was sure of it. They generally thought of her as mousy and plain. She laughed out loud as she stepped into the steaming shower. She wasn't mousy and plain. Not really. She just held that impression for people who didn't want to look at a real person when she stood in front of them. It was a great way to sift the wheat from the chaff, she thought. If they didn't care to look deeper, she was happy to let them maintain their impression of her. She was willing to wait for the ones who saw more. She had a few friends that did. Jillian, especially, and Sara, and Tommy. Oh, she could make Sara laugh with her point of view and her photos. Jillian kept after her to show them, to try a gallery. Tommy told her dirty jokes and said she needed to date more. She laughed out loud in the shower again. You only needed a few friends, she thought. You needed enough that you could laugh and cry, keep still and be challenged. Any more and it showed your insecurity. She thought of all the people she knew with more than five hundred Facebook friends.

The hot water began to run out. Elsa thought about how she loved Saturdays as she toweled herself off, that stretch of time before her that was all her own. She would take pictures at the park with her real camera, eat a late lunch at SushiTown, and get a girl movie from Redbox and call Tommy or Jillian to come over. Sara would be busy with the five and the seven year old. Time with Sara was snatched from weekday lunches. She might even make popcorn. Errands, oil changes, bills, and vacuuming could all wait. She might stop at a grocery store for some good cheese and strawberries. The season was coming in and strawberries were getting sweeter and more local. Buying nice food never felt like work to her, especially when she stopped at Whole Foods or PCC where the flowers and the food were pretty. Good food was spiritual too, she thought, though lots of people had already figured that out. It was another way to sensuality, and as with sex, there was a way to do manage it that felt clean and pure and intense.

As she dressed, she chose jeans and a green T-shirt. She wore no makeup and had her brown hair braided. She tucked her braid into a gray fleece jacket, put on black wool fingerless gloves, and a black beret that she pulled down over her ears, then laced up quiet brown walking shoes that still had a bit of mud on dried on them from her last foray. She was ready. No one would see her now. No one would ever imagine her dying with a dildo in her hand. She laughed again as she picked up her keys and walked out the door.

Thank you for listening, jules


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