Sex is a disgusting act at worst. At best it is messy, smelly, sticky process poking around with your nether bits at another human’s nether regions at appallingly close proximity to the discharge points of their disposal system. Yet while all this is inarguably fact, sex somehow manages enormous appeal with the right person, under the right circumstances.
I had a coworker, a woman, who was married, whom I much enjoyed seeing. We did not see each other that frequently at work, being assigned different office groups within the same company, but when we did, we both took care, beyond necessity, to prolong the interaction. Yet the marriage thing kept it casual for me, and probably removed any personal expectations. It was my knowledge of that binding legal contract that caused the psychological barrier that prevented me from any serious thoughts of this acquaintance going beyond a social, workplace relationship.
One evening I had left my apartment building curious over transfer of a property deed a favorite uncle had given me. It was a nice evening, warm but breezy, and I walked into town looking for a lawyer’s office. I remembered it being in this old revived district just south of the main street of town. I proceeded by walking through a narrow alley that opened into a great public area surrounded by little stores and offices. I had heard that this space resulted from the demolition of a large central building allowing the surviving buildings to be renovated around this open park, a serendipitous outdoor mall. But when I arrived at where I remembered it being, I discovered it was not where I remembered. I was standing, confused and disoriented in this plaza, at the center of this cluster of quaint stores and professional offices and these old repurposed brick buildings. The disjunction must have triggered my becoming acutely aware of the space and size of this plaza I felt in a dream where things you expect are not what you think.
As I pondered this problem I saw her and, at almost the same time, she noticed me. I began to explain my confusion until she interrupted to say that she too was in need of legal services. She added that she had no pressing business and offered to accompany me on my search. It brought me no little joy to see her now for the first time in non-professional circumstances and we readily agreed to walk together. As we meandered through the park, I found, in addition to my pleasure of being with her, also the need to periodically concentrate on my orientation in attempting to resolve my dislocation. I tried to picture the other businesses surrounding the misplaced office. We walked like this for some time without talking as I silently struggled to home in on the actual location. Finally my thoughts began to clarify and the veil lifted. I decided that it was likely located at a new commercial strip just outside of the borough that was designed to look like old downtown.
I told her of my error and where I now believed the missing office was located and she had no objections to accompanying me on a much longer walk than I had originally intended. With this resolved, I was become aware of my growing pleasure at being with her in these leisurely circumstances. As we walked I began to pay conscious attention to fall of her hair and the pattern of the print in her summer dress which I had previously only subjectively processed. The evening was approaching dusk and although not near dark the sun produced a cool diffused lighting.
Upon arrival at the roadside business strip I spotted the office just as I remembered. Being past business hours it was naturally closed. I had no other expectations and it appeared of no consequence to her. We stood in our accomplished quest, an empty parking lot bordered by closed businesses, devoid of other people. With no further quirky objectives I asked her why she needed a lawyer. She answered, quite offhandedly, “I intend to get a divorce.”
After a pause she continued. “It was you who helped me realize how it might be. How kind some people can be. I knew I was unhappy but I might not have come to this conclusion without knowing you. I used the image of you for this moment, to get me though this difficult decision. I hope I do not seem presumptuous. I know nothing of your private life. I am not asking any more of you. Just by your being someone thoughtful and kind you have made a difference. If no more comes of it I have no regrets.”
As the words left her lips the world tilted noticeably on it’s axis. News of a dirigible attack could not have been more stunning. We were still standing in the same spot as we had a second before. We did not move, our clothes were the same, though only slightly ruffled by a breeze. We aged imperceptibly in those seconds but a ponderous gate had lifted, a barrier as massive as a great canal lock had evaporated. My brain was pumping endorphins like a leading Grand Prix driver on his final lap. She was no longer a friendly coworker but an attractive magnetic field. A physical force pulling me powerfully toward her skin.
I was as weightless as a dandelion seed. Gravity had released me. Physical bounds disappeared. I no longer looked at her, but I had already joined her as an extension of me. Connected in a way that now compelled me toward that other connection that would substantively and neurologically commingle us, though fleetingly, into a unified presence. We a particle, a singularity in a space and time defined only within our quantum universe. As real as gravity and impalpable as curved space. We stood in the darkening dusk of the deserted lot, not there, not anywhere.