Giving Thanks

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I had just separated from my wife after 10 years of marriage. The person who I had become bore little or no resemblance to the person I had always wanted to be. I had systematically dismantled myself over the course of my relationship with my wife and could no longer remember who I was or what I wanted at all.

It was the day before Thanksgiving and I had no plans for Thanksgiving day – my ex was taking the kids to New Jersey and I wasn’t invited. I felt self-hatred and fear and paranoia to a dangerous depth and degree. I had absolutely no plan in my head about how to spend the holiday. In fact, it was impossible for me to make any kind of plan to soothe or satisfy myself because I had lost myself so completely I no longer know what I liked or didn’t like. Shattered as human being, I was going through the motions at all times.

I left the house and wandered stupidly. With no plan at all in my head I wandered into Key Food and started looking at the shit on the shelves. The Thanksgiving crap was everywhere and in my mind ideas began to coalesce into something like a plan. A small turkey. 8 pounds. Stuffing. Potatoes. Sweet potatoes…I tossed it all into my cart, added a case of beer on top of it and headed for the registers.

Did you ever think about the millions of tiny choices and decisions you make in a day and the consequences that unfold or fail to unfold as a result? On September 11, 2001, for example, I dropped my daughter off for her first day of preschool. I walked out the door of the place at 8 am and I walked halfway to the subway with her Hello Kitty lunchbox in my hand and, upon realizing what I was holding, had to turn back and bring it to the daycare. Leaving the daycare at 8:21 I was irritated with myself, cursing under my breath that I was going to be late. Getting off the train at Chambers street at 9 am I was greeted by sirens and panic. And I think to myself, damned near every single day, “what might have happened if I hadn’t walked out with that lunchbox?”

In a way, of course, it didn’t matter. In a way, I was dead despite having survived.

What might have happened on that Thanksgiving if I had chosen register 7 instead of register 6? Impossible to say. I got on line for register 6 and when I reached the front of the line I started putting my items on the belt and I peripherally clocked the cashier watching my hands. I turned and looked her in the eyes. Her nametag read “Ana Sofia.” I had flirted mildly with her before but it was just small talk.

Ana was a Puerto Rican woman somewhere in her mid thirties. Her brown eyes were smoky and she had a penetrating gaze that made me avert my eyes when I spoke with her. Her face was pleasant and she smiled brightly. Her nose was a little too wide, her cheekbones too soft, she had a scar on her left cheek. She was the sum of her imperfections, but the depth in her eyes offset the odd way her face was assembled. For me, anyway, everything came together in a nice way, and I found her to be pleasant to look at.

The stupid blue vests they made the cashiers wear made it impossible to get an idea of what her body looked like, but I couldn’t help but notice the firm, full breasts that pushed that vest out from the inside like a gust of wind in a parachute.

All of this I had noticed, because a thirsty man can’t help looking at a glass of water, because a man who is starving can’t stay away from a thick juicy steak. All of this I had noticed before and yet none of it meant anything because I was dead inside, incapable of sorting the feelings and facts and figures into something of value, and it would be like that until I learned to live again.

Ana watched my hands as I unloaded my cart and when I finished she gave me a smile that stopped me dead. “You ring,” she said. “You lose you ring.”

I looked at her stupidly. She held up her own left hand, pointed at her empty ring finger and repeated, “you ring.”

“Ah,” I laughed lightly. “Yeah.” I exhaled. “Not married anymore…”

She looked at my groceries, the unassembled component parts of a Thanksgiving dinner. She looked back at me, straight in the eyes, a deep matadorbet gaze that knocked me onto my heels. “You cook all this yourself?” she asked.

Suddenly I was at ease. Funny the things life teaches you. All those years married to someone who couldn’t be relied on to prepare meals, those years of being the only source of income and, functionally, the only parent, did give me a few little gifts. One of them was that I learned to cook. I could pull off a delicious thanksgiving dinner without breaking a sweat.

“Sure,” I answered. I felt some swagger returning to my battered ego and, before I had a chance to stop myself, I said “how ’bout you come over and let me cook for you?”

I am sure the surprise was obvious on my face when she said “yes” and she giggled a little at my reaction. I gave her the address and phone number and only half expected her to actually appear the next day.

I woke up at 7am on Thanksgiving, walked my dog, and cleaned my shitty apartment. I had been there a month and already had let it go to seed, a testament to how little I gave a shit. Then I started cooking and by the time the bell rang at 3pm I had a nice meal prepared.

Ana’s hair was done up, her makeup was nice, all the stuff you wouldn’t bother doing for a shitty cashier job. I have her a hug and told her she looked amazing, which she did. I helped her out of her coat and turned to hang it up, and when I turned back I nearly hyperventilated. Ana was wearing a short red dress that accentuated and displayed a body that made my throat close. I couldn’t help but stare a little at her incredible, c cup breasts, her hard nipples poking through the sheer fabric. She did a flirtatious little spin and asked “you like it?” and in so doing showed me one of the finest asses I have ever seen. High and tight, perfectly shaped, generously proportioned…I considered grabbing her and kissing her hard right there but I resisted the temptation.

I looked in her eyes and she smiled, a smile that promised things that I wanted more than air, that held secrets I needed more than life itself. I had squandered the gifts I was given, wasted my time, erased myself. For years I wanted nothing for myself because I didn’t deserve to want, let alone to have. That day, that Thanksgiving Day, I wanted. What I wanted was Ana Sofia.

We sat and ate. She was very impressed that I could cook. We made slow and halting conversation but despite the language barrier we were able to communicate and things were comfortable. I felt myself being absorbed by her voracious, big, open eyes, eyes that were eager to watch, to learn, to live and to love.

We finished eating and I made some coffee. She excused herself and I sat down on the sofa. My thoughts drifted aimlessly, stupidly. I thought about the last time I was in India for business. I was stuck in traffic in a taxi on my way to a business dinner. Late, frustrated, trying to get a signal from the spotty cell service, I looked out the car window and next to the cab was a guy riding an elephant down this busy, crowded street.

Suddenly Ana was next to me on the couch. I turned and looked into her eyes and I knew it was right. It was time. It was here. I put my arm around her and pulled her to me and kissed her lips lightly and softly. She closed her eyes and leaned her head back and I kissed her harder. She opened her mouth and our tongues were entwined.

There is nothing more powerful than kissing; nothing more intimate, powerful, erotic or arousing. I was alive with desire, with a need for Ana that felt primal and basic and came from a place that reason doesn’t dare to tread. I tore my lips from hers and I kissed her eyelids lightly. I kissed her ear and her forehead gently. I ran the back of my hand across her cheek. She reached up and grabbed my hand. She opened her eyes wide. She planted my hand on her firm breast and looked me in the eyes and said “Yes.”

It was like tasting water again after wandering in the desert for days. Every fiber of my being needed this, and yet I had no idea until that moment how much.

I kissed her passionately and put matadorbet giriş both my hands on her breasts. I kissed her neck and she moaned lightly and softly and I knew what to do. I hadn’t been with a woman other than my wife for more than 15 years, but there are behaviors that are in the DNA, that don’t need rehearsal, that are as much a set of instincts as the result of thought. I slid one hand under her knees and the other around her shoulders and I picked her up and carried her to my bed.

I laid her softly on the bed and then I lay down with her. I started with soft kisses again but it was only seconds before we were pawing each other lustfully and our mouths were pressed together. I unbuttoned her dress and tugged it open. I pulled it out from under her…black lace bra and panties…her beautiful body almost naked before me. I kissed her neck again, and then her shoulders. I kissed her chest and then I reached under her and opened her bra and pulled it off, revealing her breasts. Her skin was a beautiful light tan. Her breasts had not succumbed to gravity and they stayed firm and beautiful without her bra to hold them. Her brown nipples were hard and I couldn’t stop myself from lightly kissing the left, then the right one. My kisses gave way to gentle licking, and she moaned and writhed a little bit on the bed. I kissed her chest between her breasts and then I moved down, down, kisses along her belly and then I put one hand on each side of her panties and pulled them off.

I kissed her right ankle, then her left, and then I ran my tongue from that left ankle all the way up her leg until I was between her legs. I gently touched my tongue to the lips of her pussy and licked slowly up and down…again…again. Then I slowly and deliberately ran my tongue around her clitoris. I had stopped thinking entirely.

My instincts were guiding my every move and it felt like freedom.

She tasted sweet, and she began moaning rhythmically and grinding her hips. I found a rhythm and a pace and off I went. My tongue was inside her, and then it was circling her throbbing clit, then rhythmically up and down, then back to the circles. I heard her pleasure rising, her breath getting short, her moans getting louder, and I kept up my rhythm until I felt her whole body contract. She cried out “Fuuck, fuck fuuuucckk” and pounded the bed with her hands as I watched her convulse.

It was unspeakably beautiful to see such pleasure unfold before me, and I lay down next to her naked, glistening body and looked in her eyes and smiled. She looked back with those impossibly lovely eyes, and I felt a wave of gratitude for her presence in my bed.

Then she reached over and undid my belt. She pushed me onto my back and straddled me, quickly unbuttoning my shirt, tearing it off me, and then making her way to my pants. She undid the button and pulled them off me and then…there I was, as hard as I could ever remember being. She grabbed my cock with one hand and then brought her face to it. She locked the head of my cock slowly, and then she removed her hand and eagerly accepted me into the soft warmth of her mouth. I had been sexually inactive for months. I had forgotten just how good it felt to have soft lips and a warm mouth engulf my hard cock. I knew I wouldn’t last long. She began slowly bobbing her head up and down, taking the full length of my cock into her throat, then backing up, her tongue licking along the underside of my shaft as she withdrew, only to quickly take me back into her throat. She sped up, faster and then even faster. I arched my back. I could feel it inside me. Faster, her soft wet mouth…I exploded into her mouth, my body convulsing as I let months of come loose. She stayed attached to me, drinking every drop, her big soulful eyes gazing up at me as I gasped for air and then slowly relaxed.

We lay naked together…wordless. The feeling of her body beside mine was…comfortable. How long had it been since I lay beside a woman and felt warmth and acceptance and love? How long had it been since I had breathed, since I had opened my eyes, since I had reached for something and touched it, and grasped it, and held it, and made it mine?

I thought about that elephant on that street in Mumbai. How it seemed so out of place among the cars, the honking horns, the little kerosene powered open taxi scooters. How utterly out of place and yet…an elephant…in India…not out of place at all. It belonged there before anything around it. And for all my surprise, that elephant was part of the scene, it did not draw cries of concern or gasps of wonder. It belonged there, probably more than I did.

I felt the cold, abject terror that had frozen my heart beginning to melt. I belonged here. I was not an “other”, an outsider. I was becoming human again, becoming connected to another human being in that bed, right then, right there.

I felt Ana’s hand on my cock and I began to get hard again. I looked at her beautiful eyes and I ran my hands over her hips before settling on her lovely breasts. She exhaled deeply and I was immediately hard. She lay back and I got on my knees and positioned myself between her legs. I took an ankle in each hand and I could see that she was soaking wet. My cock was aching now, straining toward her. I guided myself between her legs and slowly inserted just the head of my cock in her wet, hot pussy. Her eyes widened. She looked up at me and bit her bottom lip and nodded. I slid into her slowly…slowly…one inch…then the next…a little more…again…stop…then more…and my cock was buried deep inside her.

It had been so long. I walked out of the desert and into a pool. I was determined to take it slow, to resist my impulse to fuck her like a rabbit fleeing a fox, to fuck her greedily. I slowly withdrew my cock until only the head was inside her…then I slid back into her. I slowly pulled back…then hard and fast, back inside her. I started to build a rhythm. Harder and faster each time.

Her eyes, staring up into mine…the soft, warm, west, tight pussy around my hard cock. I went harder and faster, then I stopped and slowed down…then quickly again, deep inside her…and then I slowed down. I grabbed her hips without my cock leaving her for even one second. I pulled her up and turned her slightly. She got the cue and got on all fours. I began fucking her hard and fast. She was bucking herself up and down, riding on me, spitting out random words in Spanish and English. Harder and faster now. I felt it coming. There was no bed. There were no walls. There was only me and her. Two bodies, connected…me and her…connected.

I came so hard for so long I almost lost consciousness. Her loud moans and sharp cries filled the room as she shook with pleasure again.

Again we lay there in silence. I felt a wave of peaceful calm wash over me. Since that day in September ten years ago, I have never slept more than 3 hours in any night. I looked at the clock. 7 pm. I turned to look at Ana. My eyelids felt heavy. At the core of my being, I felt a weight was lifting. I felt the noises and voices in my head begin to ebb. I slowly drifted into sleep.

My eyes opened and focused on the clock. 11 PM. The bed was empty next to me. I was alone. I wanted her there beside me. I wanted someone there, I needed someone…I deserved someone. The ice around my heart had melted away. I knew I would live again, that I would have desires and need and feelings like any other man, and that I would go out again and live. I gave thanks for the life I almost lost and then almost lost again. I felt a wave of gratitude and I told myself I would never waste this gift again. I wished Ana was still there. I was still alone.

I heard footsteps and then Ana appeared in the doorway. “Su perro necesita salir” she said, her eyes sparkling with warmth and life and her smile promising mystery. My dog. She had walked my dog. I exhaled a sigh of deep relief.

She climbed back into bed and her fine ass rubbed against me as we lay together. I had my arm around her and we sat in silence for a few moments again. I looked at the ceiling, at the small crack that ran from the corner. I looked out the window to the side and I saw the trees in Prospect Park, waving in the breeze like beauty queens in a parade. The blue light of the night shone through their bare branches and I was filled with love. I gave thanks for life. I gave thanks for love. I gave thanks for Ana Sofia.

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