Submitted by megan on Wed, 06/11/2008 - 23:20
We walked home quickly from the bar, from one end of the French Quarter, through the epiphytes and wrought iron, to our hotels at the other. Part way home, in front of St Louis Cathedral, CT slowed his stride and half turned. I half turned too, looked up at him, we laughed and kissed.
“Figured the church would enjoy that.”
“It’s a good place for a first kiss. Indeed.”
A month or so ago maybe, at a Venus Envy Bursary Fund meeting, we decided that kissers came in two styles: lip kissers and tongue kissers. All present were tongue kissers, and though of course we thought our way was the best way, we also agreed that the hardest thing was a lip kisser and a tongue kisser together.
So when CT let his mouth open slightly after a moment or two, when I felt his body sigh when I licked his lips, you know, we could have been anywhere and I would have thought it was a pretty good place for a first kiss.
His hotel was right around the corner from mine, and not so many blocks away from where we were. There were important things to figure out before then.
“So,” I said. “I guess this is where I say your place or mine.”
As mentioned before, I gave myself a white slip on this trip to let go a bit. That didn’t impact my decision to take CT home with me. But I think there are two things that made a key difference to how it rolled out.
First, my room was a mess. At least for me. I’d left my yoga mat out in the middle of the floor, my laundry was piled in a couple different places, papers and books and conference tchotckes were scattered about in no order at all. It may not be a radical shift in the world, but anyone who’s seen my apartment or let me organize their cupboards knows that it’s a rare occurrence for my things to be out of order, and even more rare that I let somebody see me that way.
Second, I was in no way interested in being in control of the safer sex stuff. I am most comfortable in control, which is an awkward thing for a natural bottom. Besides a little confusion, it means I’m almost always the one who provides the what-have-you that the who-have-you needs. Generally, this feels fair enough, because my policies are more defined and stricter than most people’s. Understandable. I’ve spent a lot of my life thinking and teaching about it.
But this time? Nuh-unh. When it turned out he hadn’t packed condoms* either, I gagged the little voice that started to make plans about where they could be procured. White Slip Girl said “Fucking relax. If he wants to get in there, he can find condoms.” Apparently, it’s more difficult than you might think to find rubbers in the French Quarter at 2 am. I lolled in bed while he scoured the streets. I felt calm and open.
This is the joy and the danger of the Conference Fling.
Depending on how people get together, there can be two first times. There’s the first night fumbling after the bar, your guard down, the dark smoothing out edges you’d prefer stayed unseen. Then there’s the sober next time with the lights on or the sun streaming in; and you feel exposed and new and shy in a way you hadn’t the night, the week, the month before, and this time you have to coax yourself into opening for this person you’ve already let deep in there.
The letting go.
Taking the elevator down to breakfast, I could feel the whisker burn in a bright red patch on my right cheek. I could feel how tender my entire body was. There was an ease and solidity to my physical presence I think I don’t often have. As I walked a few blocks looking for food, people stared, blinking their eyes at me, with small smiles and a bit of wonder. I must have looked like I felt: a woman well-fucked and sated.
Over the next 30 hours, I came more than I slept.
Though it wasn’t all sex. We went to the conference sessions; we wandered through the Quarter trying to find El Gato Negro, where I tried to stay awake over tacos; we tried to find the Ploners for a last night drink. We talked, a lot. I told some of my secrets.
When CT walked me downstairs at 4:30 Friday morning to catch a cab to the airport, we’d had a couple hours of something that approximated sleep. I was so tired I'd kept waking up, afraid I’d slept in. Out on the street in the wee smas there not a cab to be seen.
I looked up and down the street, started getting nervous about missing the flight. My mind got pulled from the bubble we’d been floating in, needing whatever juice was left in there to manage these logistics.
I looked up at CT. His eyes were half closed, and I could see the warring factions across his face.
“You know,” I cupped his cheek, “You should go sleep. I can totally tell you want to stay and be chivalrous, but honestly, I’ll be fine. Look, there’s a cab way up there. Please, it’s good.”
He hemmed and hawed and acquiesced. We squeezed our arms under each other’s backpacks and shared a tight hug. He leaned down and kissed me. We said goodbye. He walked a few steps, turned, smiled, said “Have a great rest of your life!” I laughed.
The cab from way up there passed me by; I walked back into the hotel to call another.
*The one safer sex item you can’t do without, no matter the combination of bodies. My usual kit includes condoms, dams and lube. It used to include gloves as well, but I’ve eased up on the glove business in the past year or two. So we didn’t have lube that first night, but bought some the next day. I ended up getting, and bringing home, Wet Bare and Natural, which was nice because it’s glycerine and paraben free, but it’s thin like water, which is not my favourite lube consistency. And it smelled a bit like green apples. But close enough.