I sit in the corner of the room, shadowed from the blades of late afternoon sun split by the blinds. But the couple on the bed are bisected light and dark, zebra flesh moving, tangling, meeting in the still air.
Her long hair, artfully two-toned, mixes metaphor with the lighting. The muscles beneath her pleasantly tanned skin, her high, pert breasts and the gloriously taut swathe of her belly speak of sculptural futurism and the blind fascism of youth. I can smell the team spirit in her sinews.
My heart doesn’t love beauty but my eyes do, and these two are beautiful, both separately and together. I will save the disgust at my own hypocrisy for later, because this is a feast for senses without judgment.
Him. Well, I know him. This bisected man: all anger and tenderness, armored up and fatally wounded, destroyer of women and desperate for the comfort that can be had nowhere else.
He’s good with women. I watched him find this one, track her, and lure her with a skill that few men possess. It’s not his love of them that makes him good at it; his faculties are born of the surgical detachment with which he has dissected the female psyche and found the key to its architecture in its dismemberment.
How he kisses her. Holding her head just so: ‘I desire you,’ it says, ‘And I will have what I desire.’ Overwhelmed by subtext she is too young to decipher, she cannot, in a thousand years, resist the power of its message. The air glitters with her reciprocation and just the tiniest shard of fear.
And, as much as he enjoys her arousal, he likes that small flame of fear more. It feeds the disquiet inside him. The embrace becomes more demanding, more controlling until the beautiful girl with the two-toned hair cannot remember a time when she would not give him whatever he might ask for.
How swiftly the will to power is relinquished, and only desire can tempt it away so completely. His so strong it infuses the room, and so intensely is she caught in the leash of it that she has long since forgotten my presence. Believing, without doubt, that she is the focus of his universe, which, for the moment, she is.
A doll in his hands. He moves her this way and that, and she lets him because, in every touch, he communicates the promise of pleasure. That he will also extract a little pain is neither here nor there; in the moment of its extraction, she will believe she wants to give it. This is monstrous art.
She does not know whether the cries he elicits from her are hers. Whether he caresses or pinches, her responses are all the same. Fingers claw at his flesh, at the bedclothes, her body writhes under his calculated attentions. She shudders and pants, and swears under her breath at his fingers and his mouth. Arches flesh up to him – here and here and here – his autonomous banquet. And he devours, not like a man starving, but with the enjoyment of a man who knows his table.
I’d like to think that the position he chooses to fuck her in, her ass perched on his thighs and only her shoulders on the mattress, is for my benefit, but I’d be foolish to hazard a guess. Nonetheless, I’m grateful, because I’ve just realized exactly what Homer meant by the adjective ‘godlike’. The display of musculature alone is explanation enough, but added to this is the precision with which he thrusts into her wantonly open cunt.
Every penetration elicits a breathy moan that reverberates off the sparsely decorated walls. I imagine the sound leaching into the paint and the plaster, ripening with the years and disturbing some future resident’s sleep.
Watching her face, then his – both shot through with pleasure – I play witness to the base beauty of those successive moments when the body supplies more sensation than the mind can handle.
And after many more moments like that, after he’s made her come and cry and beg for more.Â When I know my memory of this afternoon is filled beyond my capacity to recall, I quietly take my leave, clambering back to the centre of my web and set to weaving.
Note: For more on the Arachne myth, go here.