The First Time

The first time was strange. There had been so many ideas about what it would mean, about what it would change in Eddy’s life. He had lived all his life with a personal rule about fidelity, about creating a place beyond which one did not go. Being with Inez had taken Eddie to the very edge of that place, and it had disturbed him that he did not wish to stop at that frontier. Nevertheless his desire to deepen the relationship, to go beyond the limits of physical contact that he had lived by, had disturbed him. While away from Inez he found he could rebuild the walls of his border again. In doing so though he realised clearly that the wall shut out the light. By his own act he made a shadow in which he lived. And was that place where fewer things grew where he wanted to dwell?

The first time? Well, that’s how it seemed in his mind. It appeared an irrevocable step which once taken could never be reversed. Inez also seemed hesitant, and he welcomed this. They wandered along the boundary fences of their own desires and leaned over the wall where it was low enough, and kissed and touched each other’s body where gaps in the structure allowed. What beautiful welcome kisses, what history they each poured into them, what shyness, what daring, what hidden feelings, what obvious needs – what?

The first time, when it happened, Eddie had committed himself. It was not taken from him while he half hid behind his wall. He had decided to walk through. He had stepped forward to meet whatever change might come upon him. He met Inez walking toward him also, and the loving, body to body, flesh into and around flesh – lips and tongues and arms – hands and eyes looking, gazing into eyes, body fitting into body and body fitting around body, comfortably. There was movement and waves of movement. There was waiting and there was no waiting but taking and giving and pouring over each other.

That was the first time that Eddie had dared beyond his own decisions. That was the first time Eddie had been bold enough to defy the rules he himself had made. Strange how we create worlds and live in them, forgetting we are the creator, and bowing down to the laws of the land.

That was the first time that Eddy, having gone beyond himself, realised with puzzlement that he had already been to that place. Or perhaps a better way of telling it is to say there was no separation, no gap, no difference. In the moments of his passion the realisation – no the condition of his body and heart – made him aware that the love he felt now had already existed. There had never been a wall. There had never been a boundary to cross, except in his mind.

The feeling was so delicious and unexpected it locked him to Inez with subtle yet strong connections. When a river joins and flows into another river, you can never separate them, as soft as the water might be. So Eddy realised a wonderful ease. How could there be guilt or betrayal when this side of the wall was the same as the other? The same because the joining of Inez and Eddy in the body was only an incident continuing something that had already happened when they reached out across the wall, when they admitted how much they wanted each other.

In trying to tell Inez how he felt, Eddy said to her, “There was movement. There was change. There was the beginning and end of our love making, and there were words spoken. But in it all, I knew a thing that wasn’t moving or changing. In those moments there was something that had existed in all the moments before. And in the difference of those moments there was no difference. I had not moved. I had not lost anything. Nothing had changed.”

“Do you mean you had no feelings about us or what happened?” Inez asked.

“No. But I barely understand what I experienced myself. Strange, but I cannot grasp this thing to show it to you. No more than I can grasp what I felt as I sat and held you afterwards. I remember asking if you were sharing it, the awareness of you in my arms smaller in body and in some way like a gentle face upturned trustingly turned to warmth. And I as a rugged tree which your mobile form found life in.”

“I know there is something I love, whether it be as a man or a tree or a spirit. I don’t know. I have not found words either.”

So in the changing moments of his life, Eddy found constancy. There was nothing taken and nothing given, even though there was change and day passed into night.

That was the first time.

Tony Crisp

Copyright ©2001 Tony Crisp

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