eros - issue 9

Our life in the shadows

5' to read

Then a moment of total darkness, a moan and it’s over

I had a beautiful childhood made of resin, mountain air and pine needles. Made of secret gardens in which to invent stories and adventures, of walks with my grandfather as I hunted vipers along mountain paths, of ham sandwiches with mayonnaise eaten on mountain peaks, of snail farms, of cross stitching in the shadow of my grandmother’s rocking chair, of jams made with the fruit from our garden, of imagination, clean air and infinite love. Then I grew up and everything changed. When you are a child, all you want is to grow up but when you become an adult, you realise how infinitely difficult it is. Childish carelessness is replaced by rationality and overthinking. The infinite love that you initially felt for your father, whom you saw as the one and only man in your life, begins to find space in the lives of other beings who will sooner or later tear you to pieces. Of course, it’s not all bad, you build exceptional friendships that you can count on whenever you need, you go out late and answer only to yourself, you start to choose your own path, you feel free but you also have to reckon with so much more. We face serious problems, we suffer our first, most painful, disappointments of love, our first defeats and falls

It is not always easy to be an adult but unfortunately, we all become one sooner or later

Every morning I wake up alone, the house is silent, a silence only occasionally interrupted by cars passing on the street. The only visual contact I have with another living being is with myself or, rather, with my reflection in the mirror of my small bathroom. I go to the kitchen, I make my usual boring  breakfast and I dress to go out. I never wear particularly bright colours, I don’t like to be flashy, I prefer to walk with my head down, sorting through my thoughts. To be clear, I’m not a sad person, I’m just lonely here. I have my two childhood friends and they are enough for me. When it comes to men, I can say that my life has not been the best. I have loved so much and received very little in return and it was never enough. After hearing, “it’s not you, you’re fantastic, I’m the problem”, yet again I decided to take this sentence literally. I’m not the problem, it is other people who are unable to love my great soul. So, as Fabrizio De André suggests, I decided to be alone because:

“Solitude can lead to extraordinary forms of freedom”

It is true that I feel freer because I don’t have to follow anybody else’s rules, I don’t have to remember the date of our anniversary, I don’t have to remind my partner to lower the toilet seat, I don’t have to do the shopping for two, I don’t have to always be made-up and looking good. There is only me. I have learned to know myself better. Sometimes I talk to myself which I will admit is truly liberating, and then, something else that I’m a little ashamed to admit, I have learned to know my body better. Having sex with another person has a different meaning, you have to share your pleasure with them, you must be careful to do the right things at the right time. You must give them pleasure and sometimes put their pleasure before yours. When you are alone, what you feel, all the emotions, the tremors, and the feelings of peace are for you. Nobody looks at you, you don’t have to be ashamed of your body or buy expensive underwear to feel sexier. If you are alone, you can choose how to approach it.

I love to close the curtains and turn on the little bedside lamp that creates a yellowish light in the room, it reminds me of the lighting in motel rooms in American films (perhaps I watch too much TV now that I am alone). I like to drink a glass of wine and take the time to please myself and no one else. Female masturbation is still seen as a taboo in our society. Tackling this theme, so delicate and intimate, was a challenge for me. Initially, I didn’t even want to think about it. But despite the embarrassment of admitting to autoeroticism, I believe there is nothing wrong with it and that it is actually more natural and common than we think or want to think. In the soft light, with cold fingers, I welcome my body and I make it even more mine. I feel the shapes of it, right or wrong, and I like them. I feel my breath rising, I don’t have to pretend, my heart beats and my brain starts to fantasise. Hands are flowing, I know what I like, I know which places to touch and how deep I have to go. I really know my body. Then a moment of total darkness, a moan and it’s over. I like all this;

it makes me feel “powerful”

Then I go to the bathroom and wash my hands, I look at my reflection in the same old mirror and I go to sleep, alone.