Something must have been similar about the two intrusions.
The last one briskly caused me to reconnect with the first one, which I hadn’t forgotten, but seldom came to mind.
Those old fingers parting my labia, deepening into my vulva—tentative and unskilled, in both cases, but that wasn’t the point.
Old seemed to be the point. The last time, just twenty years older than any of my body parts, body cells—quite a regular gap, to which I was used.
The first time, much older. How exactly, I couldn’t have said. Perhaps, eighty years older?
The first time, the skin must have been rough, and probably dirty. The man had come in from the garden, where—in spite of his age—he had toiled all morning. I do not recall him washing his hands. His nails must have been dark-rimmed.
Not that I would have been impressed. Mine, at six, could have sported a similar halo.
How large were his fingers? Were the nails cut short? Were they filed? I doubt it.
For the finger that found its way under my panties, then introduced itself into my six-year-old sex, I had no blame at the moment. I realized something was where it shouldn’t have been, but I wasn’t sure what exactly such misplacement implied.
The ingression happened—so to speak—without aggression (aggredio = to come forward, come closer). We were playing. He was playing with my little brothers and me, helping us in turns to cartwheel over his shoulder. As I spiraled in mid-air, heels literally over head, his hand and my genitalia interlocked.
I cannot recall if that was just once. Logic strongly suggests the encounter was reenacted with each somersault—the first try having caused no reaction on my end, there would have been no reason to stop.
I would have been surprised, of course, only once. Repeats wouldn’t have counted—and in fact they didn’t. Let’s say that it happened once.
My surprise wasn’t exactly shock—unless “shock” would define a state of numb stupor, sudden abstraction.
I remember thinking the old man was mistaken.
Sure, he must have known my privates weren’t meant to be touched. Not even by me. Sure, he must have known that. Therefore, he wouldn’t have deliberately broken the rule.
Not a grown-up. Not an old man, like Grandpa—those I had learned to trust and respect.
I said nothing, of course. That part—I mean, silence—was immediately and extremely clear. I am not sure how, but I perfectly knew that, once spoken, his error would have become my fault.
To him, I mentioned nothing. I would have died of—
Why? Don’t ask.
I don’t know.
I said nothing, as a matter of fact, to no one, for the rest of my life.
He was not supposed to come in, sit on the sofa, play with us kids...We were there by ourselves and the door was open. A distraction. A gap.
My folks never realized it, and the opportunity never recreated itself—so the episode not only floated (in a physical sense) out of gravity. Isolated, it was also out of context, without past or future…It might as well not have happened, and a part of me decided it hadn’t.
Now, I wonder if he touched my brothers as well. I ask myself if we all remained stuck, maybe, in a triple lock of denial.
I am not sure why the most recent episode of my adult sex life brought back to my senses the first one.
Was it the similarity in age between the present partner and my primer?
I thought so. But that was nothing new, and many other things were different. Innocence had been long replaced by expertise. Surprise, of course, had metamorphosed into habit.
A lifetime of sex separated these two moments in time—and a zillion variations of the same act.
The same? Was it, at different ages, in different contexts, with different partners, fueled by different rates of desire? Maybe not.
This time though, something weirdly overlapped, and I was brutally pulled back. I recalled—
I recognized the meekness. Mine.
This assent that isn’t exactly consent.
This assent that so closely borders absence.
That, perhaps, implies absence as a mandatory condition. Meaning, a kind of withdrawal.
Let it be. After all, my cunt isn’t worth more than any other one. Isn’t it what I’ve always thought? After all, it isn’t so precious that I should tightly guard it from things going in and out. Holds no treasures, no secrets.
At eleven, I was brought to see a gynecologist. As he approached my vagina with a sharp, long, thin metal object (of which he hadn’t explained the nature or function) I jumped off the examination cot and began to back up.
I remember the pompous prick…I don’t think he even wore medical scrubs. I recall him in suit, like a lawyer, like a sales manager, an illusionist wagging his silvery wand.
He started laughing, as I shivered with terror. Yes, the tool looked quite threatening. But physicians should be trusted—correct?—more than vetust gardeners.
Beside that immature defense reflex, my life didn’t show blatant sings of damage in the areas of relationships, intimacy, and sex.
Although, I found more pleasure in touching than in being touched—in doing, that in being done. Within reason.
But, I guess, something remained opened since the non-traumatic fumbling of the six-year-old me. It remained exposed, un-lidded, unshielded from wearing agents, such as weather or dust.
Somehow, I lost agency upon—and ownership of—the intruded area, which became more of a kind of shared facility.
Which, really, wasn’t such a big deal.
As, now—on the tail end of desire, after all games were played and all scores were settled—I allow access to yet another free customer—and why not—I am reached by the long-forgotten child’s helplessness. It does not overwhelm me. I just feel it, in full. I re-live her acquiescence of spoiled, plucked-off marigold.
The red panels of my dress lift like poppy petals. Easy. Is it why I prefer skirts? Is it why I like flimsy lingerie?
Well, the sensible panties I wore, back then, didn’t do a splendid job.
Fabric is just fabric, and labia come unzipped.
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