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"body worship" - part 1
"body worship" - part 1
“Here are the rough the emotions I feel… loss of control, lack of air in my lungs. The color has left my palms. I am falling.” I answered candidly.
“What would it take for you to make these emotions and feelings go away…?” India asked.
“To be loved. Truly.” I said.
“Would you say you would want to feel incredibly beautiful again? Or feel adored? Almost worshipped?” she asked.
“Worshipped is a strong word.” I laughed.
“What if I invited you to a party as a maid of honor or something like that… Would you come?” she asked in the break room. And she was very serious.
I always respected India. I looked up to her. Very beautiful, strong, and intelligent. She pushed the corporate boys around while still maintaining her femininity. She was my peer and this being my first job out of college, I aimed to be like her. Maybe she thought of me as a person to be mentored. She instantly could tell that I was having relationship issues ‒ just by looking at my face. And here we were talking like this.
“Is it a cult?” I asked without thinking.
Now she laughed. “Nope not a cult.”
“Maid of honor? What do you mean? Are you a maid of honor there? Is it a party or something? Do I have to buy something? Mary Kay?”
“Whoa ‒ a lot of questions. Nope ‒ not Mary Kay. It’s totally free.” But she added no more.
“How easy is it to stop going? What is the draw?”
“How easy? You just stop going. Is that easy enough? Hey, don’t worry about it. Don’t want you to feel pushed. I was just bringing something up.”
Now I wanted to know. And somewhere down deep ‒ I felt an honor to be asked. But at the same time I worried what she was talking about was still a cult. “No I’m curious. Very curious… But in this day and age you have to be skeptical.”
"Okay, how about we meet up for coffee tonight? Say Cup Of Joes in Raleigh around 8:30? And we talk about it…" she says. And she smiles a beautiful smile, gleaming brown eyes, and her bangs falling. She's quick to push them back behind her ears. "I really want you to come. But there's a couple of things I want to tell you that I can't tell you here in the office with everybody around. And she puts a hand on my back and her hand rubs just at the small of my back.
And I’m taken back. The touch is a bit lingering but nice. Soft. But I knew it was more than a friendly touch.
But she turns and is gone.
Perfect. I'm tantalized. My thoughts linger all day on the resilience of her touch I can still feel on the small of my back. The afternoon creeps by and so does the evening, I can barely wait.
Around 8:30, when we meet up a Cup A Joes, that's the first place she touches when she greets me again. I'm warm.
I pull away from the hug… Feel her reluctantly backing up disengaging from my body. But she quickly looks down and finds her plastic chair and sits down.
"You know I didn't know if you were going to make it tonight. I thought you would be spooked out or something…" And she grins. And she looks beautiful even though she's plain. White t shirt, the lace of her bra showing through, blue jeans, flip flops, and her hair pulled back into a pony tail. "I hope you don't mind but I invited another friend of mine to meet us… I think you'll like him… He definitely likes you…" And she winks. "Hell, I like you…" And she looks up from her coffee glass and checks out my reaction.
I immediately put my head down, trying to stare blankly into my dark double _mocha, but feeling my cheeks brighten with a flash of pink. I've never been able to hide what I was thinking, since I was as tall as my mother's kneecaps. My hot flash gave me away, I am flattered.
But why? Why was I flattered by this strange group's new fascination with ME? This woman? What were these people, what were they seeking? Redemption? New blood? A naïve and empty young body?
"You are very kind…” But I am anxious to know more. And I'm ready to hear it all. I've haven't had a double shot of espresso since I was in grad school, and I can feel my mind alert, racing to keep up with my intentions. “India, why do you belong to…?" My voice trails off. What is this? A club? A cult? A society?
"…belong. Interesting choice of words." And India swiped her finger across the whipped cream on top of her coffee and slid it into her mouth. "Don't worry We're not a club or religious organization. We're just a good group of friends. A very intimate group of friends. We came together with one purpose, building someone up. We believe that a person is a beautiful thing. It's an instrument created for specific purpose in life. And I personally don't believe that we as people fully explore who we are or cherish ourselves enough. Or feel cherished."
She watched for a reaction but continued. "I was married before. My husband was a complete jack ass. Left me for some stripper he met on one of his business trips. I was completely devasted. I felt ugly. Unsexual. Unwanted. Unloved. I was just thankful that I didn't have children. The first couple of months afterwards I fucked like crazy. I wanted to feel wanted, desired, loved… But I was actually doing the opposite I was tearing myself down. I was losing respect for myself to fill this huge inside me. I wondered who I was. What was my sexual orientation? I had sexual thoughts about women. About men. Maybe that's what drove my husband away. Maybe I didn't know how to commit. But it would always circle around that I was ugly and why would somebody want me? Then I met Anna and Xavier…"
That's when a man approached. Olive skin, curly black hair, dark eyes, and muscular build. "Hey sexy…" he said and bent down and gently kissed India on the mouth.
India's eyes were beaming again and she bit her lip coyly. "Speaking of Xavier… I was just talking about you. Let me introduce you."
And Xavier looked around and asked a nearby table if someone was using an empty chair. It was a table of college girls studying. They seemed a little shy even blushing when they looked up and saw him. Struck on how good he looked. "Yes, please, go ahead. Take it."
"Thanks." He pulled the chair to the table, sat down, and crossed his legs.
India motioned her hand out "This is…"
"Zoe…" I answer. And Xavier and I shake hands. Firm handshake but not overpowering.
"I like to call him 'X'. He is one of the most sincere fellas you'll ever meet." India added. With extreme admiration, she slid her chair closer to the both of us. There was an immediate sexual tension present, and I couldn't help but feel my involvement. I was riding the crest of their energy. I was the reason they were here.
"I was explaining how we met and why." she said. And Xavier looked down on the table concentrating on her words nodding.
"Yes. I will never forget that.." And then he turned and was staring at me.
There was an awkward silence between us. Two women and Xavier or 'X' which sounded a bit like a secret service agent, sitting around a coffee table.
"So where is Anna?" I asked.
"She's working tonight." Xavier answered.
"When does she get off?" India asked.
"Around 10 or 11 tonight."
Just creating conversation I asked "What does Anna do?"
X and India looked at each other and smiled. "Anna is a dancer," India finally shot out.
"A dancer?" I was intrigued. But knowing how the connotation of dancer always brings up the word 'stripper' I wanted to clarify.
"Yes, Anna is my roommate and one of my best friends. She's very, very creative. So she's working on this piece with some friends of hers. It's this collaboration of movement and art. Her friends have full time jobs so night is the only time they can work. Especially Friday nights. They have a show in a couple of days. So they are working late." Xavier uncrossed his legs and leaned back in his chair.
"Really? I would love to see it." I answer.
"You can come with me and Xavier…" She paused and shook her head. "So back to our 'group' or 'friends'… And how I met Anna and X. So I was at my wit's end. I didn't think I was going to make it. And out of the blue Anna and Xavier were at this new club here in Raleigh, the Rhino club. The place was packed when I walked in, and I had no where to go no friends to meet just coming in to see what it was like."
"There wasn't any room even at the bar. And Anna thought you were beautiful so she told me to ask you to sit with us." X added.
India took a swig off her coffee. "So I did. And we all hit it off perfectly. They even invited me to this party they were getting ready to go to. I had no where to go. So I went. And it was a beautiful party. Small group but beautiful people. It was almost like I walked into this room with everybody's arms wide open to take me in. I moved from groups of people to the next finding something in common with everybody. And the liquor was free flowing. I guess we were all pretty well lit. And then, who's idea was it, X, you or Anna's?"
Xavier laughed. "I think it was Anna because she's the pervert, and she really thought you were hot."
"So it was Anna that pulled this chair in the middle of the room and told me to sit down. Now I was feeling a bit nervous. I didn't like to be in the spotlight. But I guess I was drunker than I thought so I did it. And maybe I was attracted to Anna a little bit too…" She paused. "Talking like this doesn't make you uncomfortable does it Zoe?"
I smiled and shook my head "No. I'm fine. Keep going."
"Okay. So I sit in this chair. I guess this thing began as a drunken idea that turned into a weekly event sometimes twice weekly event. It all depends on how people's lives are going." And India looked to Xavier for affirmation.
"Yes. Crazy as hell, ain't it?"
"So I sit in this chair. And Anna stands in front of everybody and says 'I want to worship her…' And our group of friends go crazy… Cheering and clapping. A circle develops around us. I'm starting to get real nervous now. But suddenly she starts reciting poetry. Rumi I believe…" She takes a sip of her coffee and speaks deliberately:
“Some Kiss We Want
There is some kiss we want with
our whole lives, the touch of
spirit on the body. Seawater
begs the pearl to break its shell.
And the lily, how passionately
it needs some wild darling! At
night, I open the window and ask
the moon to come and press its
face against mine. Breathe into me. "
"Wow… Very good India. I didn't know you had memorized that poem." Xavier adds.
"That's not all of it but that’s all I remember right now. So anyway Anna gets behind me and starts to run her fingers across my shoulders through my hair… She kisses my forehead as she speaks the poem. This stranger! Reciting poetry to me and kissing my forehead! I was freaked out! But for some crazy reason I loved it! It was like my entire soul craved it. So I let it continue. Finally she gets down on her knees in front of me and says: 'You are so beautiful… May I kiss your feet?' And I say 'Yes.' And she does. And then another girl from the crowd around us comes down on her knees in front of me and says 'You have a gorgeous smile… Can I kiss your fingers?' And I say yes to her. And before long the entire crowd is in front of me asking me permission to compliment me, to kiss me, to kiss others, to touch me. Not in a rude or unrespectful way. But in a way that I feel like a goddess… I begin to believe them. That I am gorgeous. Incredibly powerful. And they are all around me reaching their fingers out to touch me. To touch each other. And people began slipping out of their clothes… Kissing, touching, begging me to let them do it… To let them show me love… Beauty… Pleasure… And here are these gorgeous couples in front of me, behind me making out… Semi naked, naked. God, I was hot."
"We're going to be closing in 10 minutes…" A guy yells out behind the coffee bar.
to be continued...