It was all far too interesting to not investigate of course. The colors were brighter and the shapes were fuller. The touch too, especially the touch, the feel of those different garments. Youngsters are drawn close to Mothers, and to other care givers. Softer, smoother, silkier. Floral, frilled, fragrant.
Then our teachers, young and fresh, newly liberated, free to wear that mini-skirt and the Nancy Sinatra boots. Lean legs gleaming, and blousy sleeves brushing the arm of the mesmerized boy attempting to master cursive script and long division. So much to admire in and desire of the fairer sex, long years before the sexual awakening.
My things were different and duller. Cowboys and Indians, baseballs and bats, big buttons and buckles. Coarse and heavy and ready for the rough and tumble ways of long young days. Not confining, but somehow confined. Practical and durable, and in need of wear, hard wear. Attractive perhaps, but never enchanting.
Supper tables, sermons and the savage society of young friends warned us into assigned corners, boys here, girls there. The price of blurring the lines, of crossing into opposite camps was high and evident. Forbidden fruit was all around, and private moments might be found to taste it.
With one first feel of sheer nylon, of a high heel too big, of a side zip and a clumsy twirl one is privileged yes, but burdened too with a great secret. Having for a moment found the curiosity to explore, having for a moment felt so special, the longer moments of fear attend. The tracks are covered, the guilt and worry descend.
The day arrives then, in euphoric moments before the fear, when the body stirs in a new way, and demands attention. The body’s gratitude is expressed, shockingly. A marriage between fabric and feeling is privately, very privately solemnized, not to be torn asunder. A marriage forbidden and hidden.
Spinning bottles, truths and dares, first kisses, fumbling, fondling and finding in the arms of the girlfriend warmth and unsurpassable, yielding beauty. The newness of it all, and the very real care felt for the lover pushed the urges to the background. The beautiful clothes were there yes, but there to be slowly and madly removed from the other.
The clothes call though, especially the things beneath. There she is in soft-core images stashed here and there. She looks more beautiful still dressed, all hooks and eyes, clasps and cups, seams and heels. I want her, and I want her pretty things too. I get some pretty things, and bury them even deeper than the Playboys.
A kink, smooth beneath the surface, a kink that would iron out. A fetish perhaps, a fetish that would not fit me if my dimensions where changed by true love. Such a love came and I moved on, leaving kink and fetish behind, old and spent. Forgotten in the new and beautiful marriage, the old hidden one, jilted and patient.
The jilted, patient one would call from time to time from dresser drawers and laundry bins when we were alone. She knew she had my attention, and knew she had hooks in my heart. She aroused my mind now, and not so much my body. I tried to introduce her to my love, but failed, not finding the words. With that failure, came her death, quiet and final I believed.
She called again then, from beyond the grave, with my wife away, far away with troubled family, wanting attention. I gave it and felt whole and calm like never before. As with my first curiosities, this feeling was too, too true to not pursue. I needed first to persuade myself, grant consent to myself.
Consent has been chronicled in part here, online, with you. Consent has been made easier by you, here, online. We always want to feel unique. We all want to be special. We sometimes want to be alone. We don’t want to be lonely. Here, our consents are met, and we are not lonely. Thank you.
Consent has consequence. Some actions do not have equal and opposite reactions. Where before “yes” was answered with “no”, a new answer appears and the equation does not balance. We tinker, mathematicians whether we know it or not, we work on our sums.
This unsolved equation can be ignored or forgotten when life is busy, when sleep is deep, when in the care and company of people we love. Then it takes only the idle moment, the sight of a stranger, the unbidden flash of envy or unease and we are back again at the blackboard. Reckoning.
I am devoted to the problem, and mostly delighted too. Even so, my equation may never balance, the sides may never sum. I suspect I will resign, at some time, from the unresolved. Others will pick up the pieces, the easy ones and the uneasy ones, in different sequences, with different consequences.