A couple of weeks ago, I met a nice guy at one of the kinky London events. Let’s call him The Baptist. The Baptist was pretty funny, a good conversationalist and quite attractive albeit very tiny. I spent the next few days trying to find him online by going through the attendants of the event. I didn’t succeed, and so this story is not about him.
What it is about is the man I found instead. “The Mystery Baker” my friend very aptly named him, for at first this was all we knew about him – that he made cake. After writing a bit online, he promised me a sample at the next event. I remember being nervous. I quite enjoyed our little exchanges, the pleasure of being challenged in my conversation. The last thing I said to my friend before going out the door was:
“Oh god, I hope he’s not a freak.”
A week later I am sitting in his apartment. It is raining outside, and the breeze from the open window is cold against my skin. I am naked except for his denim shirt, picked up off the floor. The smoke from my cigarette twirls around itself before disappearing into the rain. He is lying on the bed, flat on his back, picking idly at the strings of his guitar and singing low in his throat. My smile is unbidden. It all seems surreal. Like something out of a movie.
He’d picked me up at the station the day before. Smiled when he saw me and given me a hug. As we walked through the idyllic streets, I unconsciously reached for his hand. Warm and slightly rough to the touch. We did the coffee at a nice café, the picturesque walk and the sitting at a bench with a beautiful view – and slightly damp behinds. Later, when he asked me back to his place, I was eager as well as relieved. Eager, because I was curious about this man, and seeing him in his natural habitat had been on my wish list since I first met him. Relieved, because I was not ready to let go of his hand.
I do not remember my time in his home clearly. Not as a continuous narrative anyway. What I remember is moments. His lips so close to mine they are almost touching, the need to kiss him, his eyes as he bids me ask for it. His hand on my bum, caressing it gently.
“I am going to kiss it,” he said. “I am going to kiss it five times. Will you let me?”
I would. And he did. I remember wondering at my nervousness. It is unlike me, to be nervous around a man, but then, he was different from any man who had ever kissed my bum in the past. Or perhaps it was not him who was different, but me, the way I behaved. I wanted him to kiss me. I craved his touch, his closeness, to the point of wishing I could crawl into his skin. I thought about this when I sat by the window with my cigarette. “It’s not being in love,” I thought. “It’s an obsession.”
He made omelettes on toast for breakfast. While he was cooking, I dallied around the room, constantly returning to his side, to touch him, kiss him, or in any other way distract him. At some point he grabbed my hands and walked me to the bed.
“Sit down,” he said. His voice was dark, but there was that glean in his eyes. I sat down. He placed my hands on my knees and stepped back, admiring his own work.
“Stay like that until I am done cooking. Do not move. Do not speak.”
I stifled a laugh.
“But I have to pee,” I said. “Can I go to the bathroom?”
I sat in silence while he cooked. I like sitting in silence. Especially like this. While I am, in most situations, the most impatient person I know (except, perhaps, for my mother), there is something immensely satisfying about waiting quietly for your man’s attention. I may have just offended every feminist in the world, but no one says they have to agree with me. I find it immensely satisfying. There is this odd transformation inside me. At first I am all nerves and restlessness. I try to be quiet and patient and obedient and all those things that I am supposed to be… but it itches. In my face, on my knee, beneath my foot. And my hair is in the way and my panties are stuck between my buttocks, and there is that tune in my head, and if I don’t sing it out loud, I swear, I’ll just, I’ll go mad.
But then there is the other thing. After the gritting of the teeth and the eye watering that follows suppressing the urge to scratch every inch of my skin. I look at his back, his head bowed in concentration. There is that moment of panic, the fear that he is ignoring me because I am in the way, that really he is happiest now that he does not have to engage with me. And he turns around, and he sends me a smile, thick with satisfaction at my silence. And something connects inside me. I am silent because he wants me to be silent, and I am sitting here because it pleases him to have me sitting here. It makes me happy. It makes the silence stretch inside of me as well. And then the waiting is over, and we sit down to eat, and for just a moment I have to remember how to speak.
“Next time, I’ll have you waiting on your knees,” he says. “Facing the wall.”
I smile at the prospect.