Page 60 Closing in –

                  CLOSING IN ON THE PROBLEM.                   29-11-10
                                                          Roy Garde
     Lawrence Bridge’s mother walked out on her husband before the end of the very hour in which he – stupidly prone to being overly honest and forthcoming in everything – told her that he’d discovered that perhaps he thought that maybe he, possibly, might not love her anymore.
      She’d always been one of those women who don’t get up any enthusiasm to participate – no matter about initiating something or wanting to experiment – in activities between the sheets until her partner has worked hard to get her fully aroused – and then anything goes so look out, but still – and so the thought of ever letting a man, who no longer loved her, to even touch her body was impossible for her to so much as contemplate.
     She took Lawrence and one suitcase full of his things and two large ones full of her own and they stayed with her parents until she found an apartment.
     Lawrence was ten years old and was their only child.
     She didn’t ask for alimony but her lawyer eventually arranged for enough child support for her to be able to cope with her bills as long as she kept her job and if they continued to live in the little, cramped, one bedroom apartment that a friend in the business had found for her that was on the other side of town from her old one.
     Lawrence had to sleep on the couch in the living room.
     Four years later she changed jobs, because she was given a good offer, and she found an immediate rapport with her new head of department and in one short month they could hardly keep their hands off each other and they made plans to marry as soon as he could get a divorce.
     News of their liaison spread across town and Lawrence’s father, now engaged to a woman named Janet, demanded that his son be returned to him and was very surprised to find that he got zero opposition from Lawrence’s mother.
     She’d asked her son if he had any objections and because he had been seeing his father regularly since the split up, and had always loved him and had got on well with him, and, seeing that he was the source of all of his favorite toys and equipment, he readily agreed.
     Lawrence moved out of his mother’s apartment and later on, that same day, her new lover moved into it. The couch in the living room stopped doubling up as a bed.
     Three months, or so, later Lawrence’s father had to go to Nigeria on a one year tour for his company and he and Janet decided that Lawrence needed stability in his life so they agreed that, because he’d shown that he liked her well enough, Janet would rent out her apartment for the year and come and stay with him and look after him in his own place while his father was away.
     They’d made firm plans to marry at the end of his year’s tour although he had doubts about whether it would happen because she had insisted, no less than three times already, on postponements when the planned-on date had begun to loom and certain irrevocable actions – like sending out invitations and booking a band and a photographer, etc. – were called for.
     Lawrence was a good student and he had lots of friends so his days were always full and because of that he and Janet never got in each other’s way.
     One night he got a terrible stomach ache and Janet heard his moaning and groaning so she went into his room to see if she could help.
     When he confessed that he had eaten a half dozen green apples earlier on in the afternoon, in a friend’s house, she stopped worrying and she brought him a purgative.
     A half of an hour later it worked and that dealt with his stomach ache but it left him feeling weak and cold and shivery and so he went to the kitchen to get some milk and an aspirin but the glass that he was reaching for slipped from his hand and smashed on the tile floor.
     Janet came running to his aid again and she guided him away from the broken glass and helped him back to his bed.
     She cleaned up the mess and then she warmed some milk and fed him the aspirin and then, because he was still whimpering and shivering under the blankets she got into bed with him to try to comfort him and also to warm him up some.
     Gradually he stopped shivering and soon after that he felt much better and he told her thank you and that he thought that he’d be able to go to sleep then.
     All through his torment he’d been very aware of her presence, and of her softness, back there.
     He was a few months older than fifteen and he fantasized about her being in his bed again through the next day and he could not concentrate on anything else – so much so that he did very little useful work in any of his school classes.
     That night, when his usual bedtime came around, he feigned weakness and said that he felt cold again and asked for some warm milk so she told him to go to bed and that she would bring it to him.
     When she brought it he drank some and then he put the glass down and then moved over and pulled back the blankets as an invitation for her to get in with him.
     She had a dressing gown on over her nightdress and so she saw no harm coming from warming him up again by holding him for a while.
     She turned him away from her and then eased up to hold him close in the spoon position and he could feel her breasts on his back and her thighs against his and with that his day long fantasy came true and it forced a long, piteous moan of appreciation and longing to come out of him whose origin she could not even guess at and so, still puzzling it out, she let him turn and then move to be able to cuddle up to her.
     She had never nurtured a child before and when she felt his hands scrabbling at her chest she wasn’t sure if it was reversion to childhood that she was dealing with, or what, so she froze in bewilderment while her brain tried to sort it out.
     He thought that her lack of protest was acquiescence and so he took advantage of the pause to make his fingers find their way into the opening of her nightgown and then he scooped one of her breasts out from her nightdress and into the air whereupon he moved down in the bed so that he could close in on it and kiss it all over and, a little later, mouth away at it.
     She looked down at him holding her upper breast with both hands and sucking on it with his eyes closed in bliss and she saw that he had a milk moustache from the glass of it that she’d brought him and so it looked, for all the world, as if he was her baby and some of her milk was leaking out from his lips.
     She didn’t do anything to stop him because she was still dithering. She wondered if perhaps she should maybe let him keep nuzzling and cherish the experience.
    Or not?
    Or what?
    Surely what was going on had to be innocuous. For her part she felt zero attraction to him on any sexual level, however, she did like the warm feeling that his sucking was generating and she noted a concomitant tugging effect deep inside, around her very center, that, uh, held promise.
     After a few minutes he uncovered her other breast, as all men do because they’re sure that the second one will have something new to offer, and he moved his mouth over to it and she was fascinated to see that the nipple that he had just abandoned was now as long and as thick as the last joint on her little finger and was very dark instead of being just a pinkish, puckered up, decorative little bud as it normally was.
     The tugging feeling, deep inside her, continued without pause when he changed from one nipple to the other.
     Her poor brain was analyzing away like mad at her dilemma but the problem solved itself when she felt what could only be an erection prodding at her and that made her realize at once that getting away from him, not cherishing the moment, was the appropriate action to take.
     She knew that there was nothing that she could say to him about it, then or ever after, and she determined to keep thinking that it hadn’t gone far enough to be considered anything more than a boyish prank, even though they both knew that it was much more, so she just pushed him away and got out of his bed and walked out of his room.
When she was outside in the passageway she eased her breasts back into her nightdress and she felt, and then saw, that both of her nipples were now erect as if they were expecting to be brought back into service promptly.
     She went to the living room and poured herself some whiskey and she sat and sipped it and tried to forget the incident by going back to the book that she had put down to attend to him.
     When she was getting ready to go to bed one of her nipples still hurt a little – his teeth had raked it when she’d pushed him away – and was slightly swollen so, after cleaning her teeth, she put some salve on it but as she was doing it she became aware that that shouldn’t be her main concern because the inner tugging that she’d been subjected to hadn’t stopped.
      What could it possibly mean?
      Why that deep inside her?
      Why hadn’t it stopped already?
      All of her pleasurable body experiences with men had been relatively short lived and she hadn’t ever felt unknown forces giving her continuing pleasure, unaided like this one was, for longer than a few minutes but here it had been – what? – certainly more than an hour.
     When she went to bed the tugging was still going on and while it was only mildly pleasant it made her constantly aware of it and so she couldn’t go to sleep and it was after midnight before it subsided enough to let her finally doze off.
     While she’d been lying there, unable to go to sleep, she’d reminisced about her love life which was something that she usually strongly resisted doing because it hadn’t been at all satisfactory and the troubling main event in it always saddened and enveloped her and pushed aside the other, mildly pleasurable, ones.
     She had made the grave mistake of misreading and trusting a boyfriend and she had found herself pregnant when she was twenty-one years old and a junior in college. He’d wanted nothing more to do with her when she told him about it and his immediate verbal response was that he thought that she was unbelievably stupid “beyond words” for having let it happen.
     That, right there, was a deal-breaker for her and she never so much as talked to him again.
     She could not support herself no matter about support a baby as well so she had gone crying to her mother, and since abortion wasn’t considered for a moment to be an acceptable alternative action by either of them, her mother had arranged a cover-up for her.
     It consisted of: Being boarded with an aunt in another town, a discrete birthing and an adoption – along with a slew of little details – and when it was all over she tried to get on with her life.
     It was years before she let a man into her bed again and when she did so she was mortified to discover that having the baby had left her, shall we say, loose ‘down there.’ She figured that either the doctor who had delivered her baby had been inexperienced or didn’t approve of women who gave their babies away. Whichever one it was, he’d been very liberal in his use of a knife and very conservative with suturing.
     The way that she found out about her ‘incapacity’ had been devastating for her: Extended preliminaries one night, expertly administered, had made both the guy and her hot and eager to get on with it and when they did so the guy had had to pump away at her for what was an awfully long time before he could finish even though he’d pushed her legs together under him early on in the proceedings and had later, in desperation, demanded that she, “Try to squeeze down on my dick, willya, and move your ass too.”
     When he’d rested a while, after climbing off her, he crudely mumbled something about “banging it against the walls, for chrisake” and then he made up an excuse about having to go home right then even though it was very late and he lived more than thirty subway stops away.
     When she had, partially, recovered from that humiliation she only dated men who had big feet and hands but even so she was forced to become an expert at doing sixty-nine with them, and all too often doing thirty-four-and-a-half for them, when she sensed that their ongoing frustration might well lead to a dangerous situation.
     Lawrence’s father was very different from all of the other men that she had dated. He didn’t even kiss her until their fourth date!
     It wasn’t long before they knew that they were in love with each other and they became inseparable and yet, even after their formal engagement, he’d go with her up to her apartment and he’d sit on the couch next to her and would do some deep kissing and he’d undo her bra and fondle her breasts but he never took them out purposely and when he slipped his hands under her dress it was only proprietarily and he’d content himself with caressing her inner thighs although once or twice he would let his fingers brush her still-pantied crotch because he knew that he could.
     Faced with reticence like that she was careful to not initiate anything herself and so she had no idea how big he was and because his hands and feet were only average in size – that comparison had never proven out well for her before but she knew of no other gage to use – she dreaded even thinking about the depth of his disappointment when he at last got to enter her on their wedding night.
     The strange tugging feeling that she had felt deep inside her had gone by the morning after the incident with Lawrence and so she forgot all about it until she saw, from the calendar on the wall in the kitchen, that it was that time of the month for her and so she’d need to insert a tampon before leaving for work.
     She took out two of them from the package that she kept in her wardrobe and she put one in her handbag and then she sat on the toilet to slip the other one in and found that she couldn’t push it in with ease as was usual. There was resistance to its passage where there’d been none before and the only possible reason for it came to her a second or two later and it excited her and gave her vast hope.
     She didn’t kid herself that she couldn’t have forced the thing in with just a little extra effort but she’d have none of that pussy-footing thank you. “Embrace life”, she told herself, and, “Seize the moment,” and, “Force the issue, now.”
     She gathered up her all of her ‘Super’ size supply and dumped them in the garbage and then she fashioned a face-cloth into a pad, which she secured in place with tape, and on her way to work she stopped off in a drug store and bought a box of “Regular” size tampons one of which she used when she got to work and was delighted to find that it fitted nicely.
     All day long her happiness saw to it that a pleasant smile tried hard to compete with the smirk that hope was generating in her.
    Of course, she had more sense than to let her soon-to-be stepson anywhere near her ever again – his super-suction powers notwithstanding – and she Googled  ‘Breast pumps’ and then read up on all that was available on the subject.
     She decided to buy a model that had, “Adjustable power that can be regulated to be gentle enough or strong enough to suit any woman’s needs,” and was, “Rugged and durable enough for hospital or institutional use”.
     Two months later she could no longer say the word ‘apples’ understandably without great effort but she could pronounce the word ‘prunes’ perfectly well and easily.
     She continued to make the breast pump work hard and long until she found that she had to switch to using pads because even ‘Junior’ size tampons were too big to slide home easily.
     That had been her goal from the beginning and the next afternoon – when the time differences between the USA and Nigeria were convenient for them both – she telephoned her fiancé and told him that she’d like to come over and see him in the school summer break, bringing Lawrence with her, and she asked him if he could arrange for them to get married over there.
     The first things that she put into her suitcase, when she started packing for her trip, were a tube of KY Jelly and her half empty box of ‘Junior’ size tampons. She knew that she’d delight in being able to insert one of them again some time after the first night of their honeymoon, when called for, and the fact that they are less ‘accident’ prone and are more sanitary and more convenient than pads had very little to do with it.