A man sat naked in a chair with his back to the wall, bathed in a faint light from a brass lamp on the desk he was sitting at. There was no other light in the room.
The shades weren’t drawn, but his bare one-bedroom apartment was on a high enough floor that nobody could see in.
“Love is an addiction to another person’s energy,” he read from a book on Tantric sex that he’d stolen from an off-campus bookstore years ago.
The pages splayed open the way her legs would spread when she’d lay on her back on his bed. His heart hurt, and his mouth sunk to a frown when he thought about it.
A sigh escaped his slightly parted lips, and reading aloud, he said, “The energy between us is alive. It is conscious. It is made up of information, and truth.
It is ‘the irreducible residue of everything.” He turned another page.
“Could I even do it?” The man cocked his head, imagining the position he might be contorting himself into.
He was athletic enough to not be out of shape, but not enough to truly be considered athletic. “I’d have to wash my toes, I guess.”
He turned a couple more pages and examined the pictures of ancient sex acts, some drawings, some photographs.
“It’s got to be in here.”
He flipped a few more pages and stopped on one called the passion pretzel, a man and woman twisted together face to face, each with an opposite foot flat on the ground.
The position didn’t look comfortable or even remotely pleasurable. He nodded his head. “Oh, okay. Looks like a pretzel. Weird.”
Again, he was reminded of her.
Three weeks ago he’d been eating an airport pretzel with jalapeños while they talked on the phone during a layover in Milwaukee, counting down the hours until he landed in Seattle.
The anticipation of seeing each other had been built up over hours of phone conversations while he was away. Pet names were exchanged.
Secrets were revealed that had brought them closer together. It was a cellphone honeymoon, and nothing could go wrong, and now he was headed home.
She had bought new bed sheets while he was gone and they were wrinkled within minutes of him walking in the door.
He studied the subtle curves of the woman in the book and imagined his fingers exploring the valley running up her back. His heart began to hurt again.
The man flipped a few more pages with his thumb, all but engulfed in the darkness of the bedroom. A light breeze blew in over his naked body from an open window.
“I’d probably have to stretch first. I wonder if I could even reach.”
He turned another page and a paragraph caught his eye. He read it to himself in a silence that was broken by the horn of a taxi cab wailing on the street below:
When two humans come together, they form an energy-body between them, like an invisible person, fully alive and made up of the essence of both people.
An umbilical-cord of light, ‘fastened’ to the heart chakra, connects each person to this mutual body, and thus to each other.
Through this connection they communicate in a way that transcends spoken words: a language of intuition, truth and emotion, and the living essence of both parties involved.
As you sit in your car, talking to a friend in your head, or saying out loud what you should have said to somebody instead of what you said,
you’re communicating with the mutual energy-body that exists between you and that person.
As two people fall in love, that body grows, and is strengthened by the love and attention flowing into it from both sides.
Both are intimately entwined with this body, since it is dependent on a constant supply from both ends to remain alive. If one slacks on the flow, the other feels it.
The heartache felt when a relationship ends is the energy-body between them dying, starving for the life essence that makes it up.
Because it’s connected at the heart chakra, the heart feels full when in love, and when falling out of love the heart hurts.
The man closed his eyes and pictured her delicate cheekbones, her pale creamy skin and wide smile that lit up his life until a few days ago, when a bottle of whiskey came in-between them,
and the energy-body they shared began to die. She had every right to be mad. He took that whole bottle to his empty stomach.
His mouth leaked and rambled, and he’d reached a point of drunkenness where his words murdered the comfortable silence between them.
The drink shrouded his ability to process her attempts to calm him. Lines were crossed, and a simple misunderstanding carved a deep gash into what seemed to be an impenetrable bond between them.
In the following days the consequences of those words unfolded, and he was left as he is now, alone with the pain of his mistakes, and a withering heart, and a foot in his mouth.
“I’m going through withdrawal. I’m addicted to her, that’s all. It will fade with enough time. I’ve kicked worse,” he reassured himself.
Turning another page, he listened to the traffic rushing by below outside the open window. “Ah, here it is,” he said.
The picture showed a naked man sitting in a yoga-like position,
with one hand on his hard cock and the other hand holding his ankle so his leg came up tight against his chest and his whole foot was jammed into his mouth.
The position was called the idiot’s bride, and it was listed under masturbatory techniques. A subtitle was underlined beneath the name: For those who don’t when to shut up.
Looking at the picture, he realized it was going to be harder than he’d anticipated. He was flexible enough to endure change, wise enough to recognize his mistakes, and strong enough to move on.
But he hadn’t considered how much he’d need to bend to make it happen. It was an awkward position to say the least.
“Welp, she’s gone. This is what I’ve got to look forward to, I guess.” And he sat down naked on the floor and began to stretch.