Short Story: How Al lost his virginity
He expected it to feel like something… well, different. It was his first time, she was sitting next to him laughing that wise, knowing laughter of hers, having just taken his virginity. He expected to be soaring, flying doing something crazy like standing on his head reciting a sonnet.
Instead, he was sitting there next to her listening to her talk about freedom and joy in a way that was in itself intoxicating. She had perspective, this woman. She wore her down-to-earthness like a shawl draped around her bare shoulders and in her eyes shone a quiet fire, like red hot embers hiding under a film of ash – visible, if you knew how to look. He was still sane, waiting for the explosion to occur in his head, or in his lungs or somwhere.
“You must let yourself go,” her voice easy and smoothly husky – the result, he supposed, of the cigarrettes that she smoked so effortlessly. “You mustn’t seek answers all the time. That’s the beauty of life – that sometimes it can not be explained. ”
His spirit was with her entirely. It was prepared to accept that he must release his need for articulation. His mind, on the other hand, was of an opposing view. The inexplicability of life was a notion that his mind roundly rejected. “If we let go,” said his mind earnestly, “would we ever discover gravity, medicine, robotics or the atomic bomb?” He was aware that had he given voice to that thought, she would have informed him that last item is the exact reason why people “must just relax.” She looked at him – at his thoughts, it seemed and smiled that enchanting smile, the kind of smile that one reaches at nirvana. “Would you hand me that beer,” she crooned, “and relax.”
She took a long sip of the icy beer, took a long luxurious drag at her cigarrette and closed her eyes, face slightly upward, smiling in the way that one does when taken by a particularly rousing movement of symphony. He was sure that it was probably inappropriate for him to stare at her like a besotted puppy but she was fascinating because of how she clearly had found her purpose, her space in this damn planet.
“There are people who are born, who live out their lives and die never having known purpose – certainly not this clearly” he thought. He wondered about his. He had lived his life thus far controlling every component with ruthless dedication. He worked 14 hour days and took all his responsibilities seriously. He guarded his reputation like a hawk. He had the proverbial pole deliberately stuck up his behind and he was comfortable being so straight. Until he met her. Now she challenged him – his blackness (he had never felt the race thing, until she explained it to him in a positive light), his uniqueness (“Just be bold enough to be you, to do you relentlessly.”)
And then over drinks, she had taken his virginity.
“Why don’t I feel anything different?” he wanted to know from her. “Shouldn’t I be speaking different, weird?”
“You are doing and feeling what you should be feeling. It has a different effect on everyone, and what you should do now is relax, let your mind flow,” she said in that husky voice of hers and stretched luxuriously like a cat, lithe and comfortable.
Something in her voice calmed him down and he leaned back and stretched out his legs. Maybe this should be his new reality. As he exhaled, he felt his inhibitions, built up over years flow out of his body. He felt as he did in the Wat Tam Wua monastery. Silence enveloped him and his mind flowed to the voice of Xin, his sensei. “You are doing exactly what you were meant to be doing right now. So, be quiet and flow in it.”
It seemed like a week of being in that relaxed mellow place, sitting there, only with her when she roused him.
“Hey, we should start thinking about going, its late.” He looked around and as if for the very first time, noticed all the other people around them. Their host was being as entertaining as ever talking and throwing her head back with abandon. He looked at every face there, a little surprised at discovering that they hadn’t been alone all this time.
“How about one more for the road?” she crooned and expertly set light to the pipe. She inhaled and smiled as she did and the dry herb in the pipe lit up brightly as if with pleasure and pride at achieving its purpose, it low glow reflecting on her glasses. Then she passed it to him and he felt the warm smoke fill his lungs and the back of his nose registered that woody, strange taste. He was amazed at how naturally it seemed to him and yet that was his very first time, ever to smoke anything.
He looked at her and she looked at him and smiled. “Must be nice, eh?”
He smiled and nodded, “yeah, nice.” He remembered reading that somewhat esoteric book by Sonya Sones, “I know this sounds incredibly lame, but I don’t want losing my virginity to feel like I’m losing something. I want it to feel like I’m finding something.”
When they got home, he turned to her, “Thank you for making an indelible mark in my life.”
She turned her head to one side and smiled that knowing, wise smile – like a guru whose work is done. The she hugged him close, turned and went into her room. He walked down the hall whistling quietly. At his door, he turned the key and thought, “I did find something entirely new.”