February 28

It was in the wee hours of the morning and I was just getting done with my latest book when my phone rang. It was loud and the entire city was asleep. Not wanting to wake the morning sun up, I jumped onto it and answered the phone.

“Hello?” I said trying not to sound irritable.

“Hello! I’m not going to apologise for calling you at this ungodly hour,” he assured me.

I let out a smile. I knew that voice. I somehow always knew that I couldn’t fail to recognise that voice even in my grave.

“Is everything okay?” I enquired. I was concerned beyond our relationship would permit.

“I don’t know. I feel unstable. My thoughts are swinging like a pendulum. I haven’t been thinking straight. There’s a strange feeling that is taking over me and I’m tempted to only explore it and not shun it,” he confessed.

“Strange? What do you mean?” I asked.

“Are you sure you want to know?” he asked.

“Well, you’ve not been apologetic about calling me at this hour, so you might as well spill the beans,” I joked.

“Are you sure you want to know?” he sounded stern this time.

“Yes, yes, I do want to know!” I assured him.

“I’ve become more sensual… err… sexual, umm… extremely erotic,” he stumbled on his words.

“How is that bad?” I countered.

He took a deep breath and answered, “I don’t think people would perceive it as ‘normal’. Would they? Would you?”

“I think it is normal because it is just a creative version of one of man’s basic instinct—sex,” I affirmed.

“True. I have come to realise that it has more of artistic attributes than anything else. I don’t know how this has gotten into me. But I have begun to learn to mould it and give it shape. I’m completely engulfed by this feeling. And…,” he trailed.

“And?” I nudged him.

“And, I want to explore the nuances of this feeling. I want to write about it. With someone,” he gushed.

“In fact, I have scribbled my thoughts down before I gave you a call,” he informed.

“Do you want to read it out to me?” I asked.

“Oh, sure,” he said as I heard him scurrying to find his notebook or scribbled notes. A few seconds later I heard him pick the phone and clear his throat. “That intense urge, an uncontrollable rush from within…those moments when you cross your legs for you can do nothing about the desire that steadily rises to your chest but wonder about the whispers in your ear, the soft blow of her breath against your neck, the piercing look into your eyes, as she leaves impressions of her lips over you…And that’s when you drag her close in a sudden grasp and the push her against the wall and raise her dress and her waist…When she gasps, looking for support to hold onto…” he stopped himself abruptly and insisted, “No, this is not a well-formed thought. It’s just a scribble!”

As I listened to him, he continued, “I’ve been having these humongous thoughts. I need to write them down. But they can’t be well-formed.”

“Because this is not a solo act!” I completed.

“Yes!” he affirmed.

The conversation was left hanging like clouds of smoke that float in a closed room. We could not break away from it nor could we take the conversation forward for we knew what consequences would bear heavily on our relationship. So we waited until the smoke faded away, said goodbye, and hung up the phone.




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